Maine has received its $1.1 million from a November 2011 settlement with drug manufacturer Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. related to allegations of off-label marketing and failure to disclose side effects of the painkiller Vioxx.
The November settlement agreement reached with the United States and 43 states and the District of Columbia required Merck to pay a total of $615 million to resolve claims on behalf of Medicaid, Medicare and other federally funded health care programs, according to a press release from Maine Attorney General William Schneider. Merck allegedly marketed Vioxx for uses not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, misrepresented its potential cardiovascular health issues and otherwise made false and misleading representations about the drug. The misleading representations caused physicians to write prescriptions for Vioxx that they otherwise would not have written, resulting in Medicaid paying for prescriptions that should not have been submitted for reimbursement, according to the release.
The money went to the state's Medicaid program.