Vioxx

Merck ordered to pay $321 million criminal fine for illegally marketing Vioxx painkiller

Thursday, April 26, 2012 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: Merck, Vioxx, marketing

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
CDC issues flu vaccine apology: this year's vaccine doesn't work!
The five biggest lies about Ebola being pushed by government and mass media
Why does the CDC own a patent on Ebola 'invention?'
Ultraviolet light robot kills Ebola in two minutes; why doesn't every hospital have one of these?
Tetanus vaccines found spiked with sterilization chemical to carry out race-based genocide against Africans
Oregon man serving prison sentence for collecting rainwater on his own property
Russia taking McDonald's to court, threatens countrywide shutdown
Global warming data FAKED by government to fit climate change fictions
The best way to help your body protect itself against Ebola (or any virus or bacteria)
Healthy 12-year-old girl dies shortly after receiving HPV vaccine
Ebola outbreak may already be uncontrollable; Monsanto invests in Ebola treatment drug company as pandemic spreads
HOAX confirmed: Michelle Obama 'GMOs for children' campaign a parody of modern agricultural politics
Ben & Jerry's switches to non-GMO, Fair Trade ice cream ingredients
W.H.O. contradicts CDC, admits Ebola can spread via coughing, sneezing and by touching contaminated surfaces
BREAKING: CDC whistleblower confesses to MMR vaccine research fraud in historic public statement
Monsanto's seed imperialism halted in Canada thanks to massive protests
Cannabis dissolves cancerous tumor in young infant, deemed a 'miracle baby' by physician
Top ten things you need to do NOW to protect yourself from an uncontrolled Ebola outbreak

Delicious
(NaturalNews) Drug giant Merck & Co., creator of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil, has been ordered by a federal judge in Boston, Mass., to fork over $321 million in criminal fines for illegally marketing Vioxx, a dangerous painkiller drug that was pulled from the market in 2004 because taking the drug doubles a patient's risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

According to reports, Merck pleaded guilty to charges of illegally promoting Vioxx for rheumatoid arthritis before it was approved for such use, even after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reprimanded the company for doing this in 2001. Immediately after Vioxx was approved by the FDA in 1999 for treating acute pain, Merck reportedly began promoting its use among patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

The decision comes just months after Merck agreed to pay more than $600 million to the federal government, 43 states, and the District of Columbia to settle various other suits pertaining to the company's illegal marketing tactics. Though Merck did not admit guilt in all of those cases, the drug maker's willingness to pay nearly $1 billion in combined fines for criminal and illegal marketing was still accepted by the court.

"I'm certainly going to accept this agreement because I think it's in the public interest," said U.S. District Judge Patti Saris who accepted the plea. "I hope the size of this settlement and the fact that all these cases are being pressed by the federal and state governments -- the 44 states' attorneys general -- will be a signal that this isn't acceptable conduct."

$1 billion is nothing compared to the more than $12 billion Merck generated from Vioxx

But $1 billion is just a drop in the bucket for Merck, since Vioxx generated roughly $2.5 billion in sales during the years that it was on the market. Collectively, this translates into more than $12 billion worth of revenues for Merck during Vioxx's life cycle, which is a hefty amount that contrasts sharply to the relatively paltry $1 billion it has agreed to pay.

Besides a few other incidents where Merck has paid out a few million dollars here and there, the company has largely gotten off scot-free with Vioxx. None of Merck's corporate executives are being held personally responsible for the thousands of former Vioxx users that were injured by the drug, and they are not being held criminally liable for their company's illegal marketing of the drug.

So in the end, what these criminal and civil fines amount to is nothing more than a drug industry payoff to the federal government for Merck's illegal activity. Merck still made off with at least $10 billion of revenues from Vioxx, and the federal government and a few individuals have received a few million dollars in the process. And so it goes in the criminal cartel that is the drug industry's cozy relationship with Big Pharma.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.reuters.com

http://www.cbsnews.com

http://www.bloomberg.com

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.