A November 23, 2011, Cleveland.com article reports that the state of Ohio will receive a $22.8 million settlement from the Merck, the manufacturer of the recalled drug Vioxx. This is according to an announcement made on November 22 by the U.S. Justice Department.
The article also reports that Ohio’s Attorney General Mike DeWine made a statement regarding the resolution saying that this settlement should serve as a reminder to drug manufacturers that they should represent their products truthfully.
The allegations made against Merck claimed that the manufacturer made false statements about the safety of Vioxx and also marketed the drug as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis before getting regulatory approvals.
To resolve these allegations, Merck made an agreement with the federal government to pay a total of $950 million to 43 states and the District of Columbia but says the settlement does not constitute an admission of liability or wrongdoing.
The article can be read in full detail at http://www.cleveland.com/healthfit/index.ssf/2011/11/ohio_to_get_228m_from_vioxx_se.html.
Vioxx is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that works to reduce inflammation, pain and fever in the body. Many defective drug lawsuits were filed over Vioxx’s link to heart attack and stroke. Finally, the drug was recalled in September 2004.
While the 2004 recall and recent settlement does serve as a victory in the war against pharmaceutical negligence and greed, it does not compare to the human lives lost.