Law Office of Lowell Steiger

$58 Million Merck Settlement To Change Deceptive TV Drug Advertisements

Author: Lowell Steiger

Published On: May 20, 2008

California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown, Jr., has brought Merck, the manufacturers of Vioxx, to its metaphorical knees.What brought about this “groundbreaking settlement”?

“Merck’s aggressive television advertising convinced hundreds of thousands of consumers to seek Vioxx prescriptions before the drug’s risk were fully understood,” Attorney General Brown said. “Today’s groundbreaking settlement prevents Merck from releasing new television drug advertisements without obtaining federal approval.”

Merck is now stopped from releasing new television drug advertisements without obtaining federal approval. The settlement places additional restrictions on Merck’s future conduct:

The settlement places other restrictions on Merck’s future conduct including:

  • Prohibiting the use of deceptive scientific data when marketing new drugs to doctors
  • Prohibiting Merck from “ghost writing” articles and studies for publication
  • Requiring disclosure of conflicts of interest when Merck promotional speakers make presentations at supposedly independent Continuing Medical Education programs
  • Requiring Merck to submit clinical trial results of FDA-approved Merck products to the National Library of Medicine

Read the entire Attorney General’s Press Release Here

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