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Gov't says Merck will pay $950M to settle Vioxx probe, will plead guilty to marketing charge
NEW YORK (AP) ' The Department of Justice says Merck will pay $950 million to resolve investigations into its marketing of the painkiller Vioxx.
The agency says Merck will pay $321.6 million in criminal fines and $628.4 million as a civil settlement agreement. It will also plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge that it marketed Vioxx as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis before getting Food and Drug Administration approval.
Merck stopped selling Vioxx in 2004 after evidence showed the drug doubled the risk of heart attack and stroke. In 2007 the company paid $4.85 billion to settle around 50,000 Vioxx-related lawsuits.