Merck & Co. will pay $58 million as part of a multi-state settlement concerning advertising of the painkiller Vioxx, which was taken off the market in 2004 after research showed it doubled the risk of heart attacks and strokes. The settlement addresses allegations that Merck’s advertising deceptively downplayed the health risks of Vioxx. The settlement ends investigations by 29 states and the District of Columbia into Merck’s advertising practices involving Vioxx. The settlement also calls for Merck to submit all new TV commercials for its drugs to the FDA for review. This settlement won’t affect our settlement with Merck, but it will help consumers in the future. Merck and other companies must now be honest in their drug ads on television – that is, if Congress allows such unnecessary television ads to continue.
Source: Associated Press
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