Home Archives July 2008 State wins case against Merck

State wins case against Merck

| Print |  Email
Tuesday, July 01, 2008

STATEWIDE Oregon’s lead role in a record-breaking settlement with Merck & Co. over deceptive marketing for the anti-inflammatory drug Vioxx represents the latest skirmish in an ongoing campaign against Big Pharma that has earned the state more than $8.5 million.

After leading a three-year, 30-state investigation into deceptive advertisements downplaying the health risks associated with Vioxx, Oregon received $2.8 million of the record $58 million paid out by Merck. The judgment banned Merck from manipulating data when marketing to physicians, “ghost writing” articles for medical journals and failing to disclose conflicts of interest among doctors who study and promote drugs on behalf of the company.

The Vioxx settlement reflects growing concerns over how drug companies hook consumers on prescription drugs. Drug giants have poured billions into “demand creation” since the federal government loosened rules prohibiting “direct-to-consumer” advertising in 1997. In 2007 Oregon was the lead state in an $8 million settlement against Bayer for minimizing the dangers of Baycol, and also was in on a $19.5 million settlement against Purdue Pharma regarding OxyContin.

State officials cannot comment about current cases involving major pharmaceutical firms, but Oregon’s campaign against Big Pharma is clearly far from finished. Leading the way has been assistant attorney general David Hart, who worked in health care prior to pursuing consumer law and is married to a pharmacist. Hart has served as lead investigator and negotiator on all of Oregon’s major drug company cases. “The money we’ve gotten in these settlements gets put to good use, but these cases aren’t about the money,” he says, “they’re about the rules we create and the light that we shed on these practices so that we can change them.”

Ken Johnson, vice president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said in a prepared statement that drug companies “are committed to providing accurate, educational information to patients and health professionals about their medicines.”


BEN JACKLET


To comment, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

More Articles

Why I became an educator

News
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
03.04.14 thumbnail teachBY DEBRA RINGOLD | GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

How can we strengthen the performance of institutions charged with teaching what Francis Fukuyama calls the social virtues (reciprocity, moral obligation, duty toward community, and trust) necessary for successful markets and democracy itself?


Read more...

How to handle the unexpected

Contributed Blogs
Friday, March 28, 2014
03.28.14 thumb disasterBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

The next mysterious (or disastrous) event could be one that you or your team might suddenly need to respond to, probably under intense scrutiny.


Read more...

Green eyeshades in the ivory tower

News
Friday, April 04, 2014
EducationCosts BlogBY ERIC FRUITS

The rapidly rising cost of higher education has left even the smartest researchers and the wonkiest of wonks wondering what’s happening and where’s all that money going. More and more, prospective students—and their families—are asking: Is college worth the cost?


Read more...

Barrister bands

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
IMG 4691BY LINDA BAKER

An intellectual property attorney by day, 48-year-old Stoll Berne attorney Tim DeJong is a singer and guitarist by night.


Read more...

The 2014 List: The Top 34 Medium Companies to Work, For in Oregon

March 2014
Thursday, February 27, 2014

100best14logoWebOur 100 Best Companies project turned 21 this year, so pop open the Champagne. Our latest survey gives us plenty to cheer.

 


Read more...

Spreading the wealth

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
HiResBY PAIGE PARKER

A money management firm broadens its reach. 


Read more...

Speeding up science

News
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
02.25.14 Thumbnail MedwasteBY JOE ROJAS-BURKE | OB BLOGGER

The medical research enterprise wastes tens of billions of dollars a year on irrelevant studies. It’s time to fix it.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS