Drugmaker Merck has pleaded guilty to a criminal charge over the marketing and sales of Vioxx, the Department of Justice said last week. The pharmaceutical company will pay $321 million in criminal fines in a lawsuit that claimed the company promoted the painkiller Vioxx to treat rheumatoid arthritis before getting Food and Drug Administration approval for it in 2002.
Merck to pay for illegal marketing.
Merck is also paying $426 million to the federal government and $202 million to state Medicaid agencies for claims that its illegal marketing caused doctors to prescribe and bill the government for Vioxx. Pharmaceutical companies cannot market a drug for any purpose before receiving FDA approval.
Vioxx was on the market for almost four years until studies showed an increased heart risk for patients. Vioxx was taken off the market in 2004, after almost 25 million Americans had taken the medication.
Big pharma cares about its bottom line, not your safety.
Pharmaceutical companies are in the business to make money. They care about their profits, not about your safety. Pharmacies also find ways to expand their bottom line by choosing to understaff their pharmacies, increasing the prescription error rates across the country.
If you or a loved one have been harmed by a medication error you have rights.
You can hold the pharmacy accountable for their mistake. Order our free book about pharmacy errors or call our office at 888-526-7616 to start a free case review today.