Merck to Pay $950M

Merck will pay $950 million in order to conclude investigations into its marketing of the painkiller Vioxx. The FDA approved Vioxx in 1999, though it was not approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis until 2002. The Justice Department claimed that Merck marketed Vioxx for the treatment of arthritis for three years, even after receiving a warning letter from the FDA in 2001. Under the settlement Merck will pay $321.6 million in criminal fines and $628.4 million as a civil-settlement agreement. The settlement does not constitute an admission of any liability or wrongdoing, according to Merck.