Merck Agrees To $58M Settlement Over Vioxx Ad Claims

Merck & Co. is paying $58 million as part of a multistate settlement concerning advertising of the now-withdrawn painkiller, Vioxx.

The settlement, which includes North Carolina and South Carolina, announced Tuesday addresses allegations that Merck's advertising deceptively downplayed the health risks of Vioxx. New Jersey-based Merck is not admitting any wrongdoing under the settlement.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett says the settlement ends investigations by 29 states and the District of Columbia into Merck's advertising practices involving Vioxx.

The settlement also calls for Merck to submit all new TV commercials for its drugs to the FDA for review.

Vioxx was taken off the market in 2004 after research showed it doubled the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

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