Monday, September 24, 2007
New York State Sues Merck & Co. in State's First False Claims Act
Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg have filed a joint lawsuit against Merck & Co. using the state’s new False Claims Act. In the suit, Merck is accused of deliberately suppressing and concealing information about the seriousness of the cardiovascular risks associated with its drug, Vioxx. The suit claims that had doctors been properly informed, many Vioxx prescriptions would never have been written.
Vioxx was touted as an arthritis drug, but its users experienced adverse effects that included increased heart attacks and strokes. Court documents have showed that Merck researchers tailored clinical trials of Vioxx to minimize negative outcomes, and the company aggressively marketed the product downplaying the cardiovascular risks.
The lawsuit alleges that were doctors properly informed of the risks associated with Vioxx, they would not have prescribed the medication, and thus Medicaid and EPIC would not have paid for its dispensation.
This is the first case for New York State’s recently enacted False Claims Act. The act allows damages and penalties to be tripled for the amount Merck caused them to expend in the Medicaid and EPIC programs to pay for drugs prescribed under false pretenses. Damages will be determined at trial.
Click here to read the press release from Andrew Cuomo’s office about New York State’s False Claims Act Takes Aim at Merck.
Posted by Quitam Help Admin on 09/24 at 06:32 PM
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