(Reuters) - Merck & Co will pay roughly $950 million to settle criminal and civil charges that it promoted the painkiller Vioxx for an unapproved use, the Justice Department said on Tuesday.
The settlement is the latest in a broader U.S. clampdown over pharmaceutical industry practices that may have put commercial goals above the interests of payers and patients, such as illegally marketing drugs.
Below is a list of companies that have reached big-ticket settlements or set aside money to cover a deal with authorities:
GlaxoSmithKline Plc -- $3 billion
Earlier this month, Britain's biggest drugmaker settled disputes with the U.S. government over the way it marketed and developed drugs, including an investigation into the company's controversial diabetes drug Avandia, which has been linked to heart risks.
The settlement cost was equal to about 2.8 percent of the company's market value.
Pfizer Inc -- $2.3 billion
The world's biggest drugmaker in 2009 reached a settlement for pitching its now-withdrawn Bextra pain drug and a dozen more medicines to patients and doctors for unapproved uses, after the U.S. government deemed the company a repeat offender for illegal marketing.
The company also agreed to plead guilty to a U.S. criminal charge related to its promotion of Bextra.
Eli Lilly and Co -- $1.42 billion
The pharmaceutical company settled criminal and civil charges in 2009 for off-label promotion of its antipsychotic drug Zyprexa for use in children and elderly patients.
Zyprexa, a $4.5 billion a year schizophrenia treatment and the company's best-selling product, began facing generic competition in the United States last month.
Abbott Laboratories -- $1.4 billion
The drugmaker took the charge in October as it attempts to settle a U.S. federal investigation into marketing of its Depakote epilepsy drug.
Federal officials are probing whether Abbott's marketing of the drug violated civil or criminal laws. The drug had been one of the company's biggest-selling products until it began facing generic competition in the third quarter of 2009.
(Compiled by Anna Yukhananov in Washington; editing by Phil Berlowitz)
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Factbox: Drugmakers' big settlements for off-label promotion | Reuters