Vioxx has been an absolute disaster for Merck.
The pharma company recently agreed to pay $12.15 million in legal fees and safety monitoring to qualm shareholder concerns over the painkiller Vioxx, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The drug was pulled from the market in 2004 following studies that it doubled the risk of heart attack or stroke. The news caused shares to drop 27% immediately and investors lost approximately $30 billion.
As the WSJ Law Blog points out, the $12 million is a minor fee compared to the $4.85 billion Merck paid in 2007 to settle 40,000 people’s personal injury claims and the $80 million the company coughed up to drug-benefit plans so they could recover the costs associated with Vioxx use.
From now on, Merck will have to register clinical trial results, establish two drug safety monitoring committees, and amend its code of conduct, as well as other changes.
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