Florida Attorney General Sues Merck Over Vioxx
Following a three year investigation, a lawsuit was filed by Florida ’s Attorney General on Tuesday, September 30, 2008, against pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co., Inc., to reimburse the State of Florida over payments Medicaid and other state agencies made for the prescription medication Vioxx. The lawsuit claims that Merck hid crucial information about the drug’s adverse side effects in its marketing of the drug and thereby violated Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. According to the lawsuit, Florida Medicaid alone paid more than $80 million for the drug between 1999 and 2004. Vioxx was pulled from the market in 2004 after a study showed that patients using the drug had an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and death.