$650 Million Settlement in Merck Illegal Kickbacks Probe
Merck & Co. has agreed to pay more than $650 million to settle government investigations into allegations that the company engaged in price fixing and illegal kickback schemes to promote its medications over those of its competitors, and, possibly, at the expense of the health of its customers. The settlement covers several investigations into several charges of practices ranging from overcharging Medicaid for drugs to giving doctors incentives to prescribe Merck medications over those of competitors.
In one of the charges, Merck did not offer Medicaid the best price on its drugs such as Zocor and Vioxx, because it had a nominal price program where it sold the drugs to hospitals at a 90% discount in exchange for high volume usage.
In another of the charges, Merck paid doctors what it described as fees for training, consultation, or market research. In essence, these payments, which included cash payments up to $1500 and all-expense-paid trips to Florida, constituted illegal kickbacks and could cloud physicians’ judgments in deciding on prescriptions.
These settlements are in addition to the $4.85 billion settlement offered to stroke and cardiac infarction victims who took Vioxx.
If you have suffered adverse side effects as a result of a defective pharmaceutical prescription and feel that your prescription was influenced by unhealthy collusion between the doctor or hospital and the pharmaceutical company, contact PersonalInjury.com today to get in touch with a local pharmaceutical injury lawyer who can take up your case and punish those involved for the wrongs they inflicted on you.