New Jersey-based pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. has agreed to pay $8.5 million to the state of Pennsylvania to settle allegations that it inappropriately marketed its painkiller Vioxx, Philly.com reported.
According to State Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane, $6.9 million of the settlement will go to the PACE program, which helps low-income seniors buy prescription drugs.
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Vioxx was first approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in 1999, but was withdrawn from the market in 2004 due to health concerns.
In November 2011, Merck agreed to pay $950 million to the federal government and 43 states to settle allegations and claims related to how it sold Vioxx, but Pennsylvania opted out because the settlement did not include purchases made under the PACE program, said Jim Donahue, Pennsylvania's acting executive deputy attorney for public prosection.