Drug Makers Pay Big for Illegal Marketing

American pharmaceutical companies are learning the hard way that marketing drugs improperly is not only bad for customers, it is bad for their bottom line.

In the fall of 2011, Merck paid $950 million in a civil lawsuit to settle charges it illegally marketed a painkiller called Vioxx. That same year Pfizer paid the government $14.5 million for illegally marketing an overactive bladder drug called Detrol.

A division of Merck advertised Vioxx for rheumatoid arthritis before the Food and Drug Administration approved it for that use. Officials said the company misrepresented the drug’s cardiovascular safety. The company already is scheduled to pay $4.85 billion in lawsuits from thousands of Vioxx customers because of stroke and heart attack claims, according to Fairwarning.org. Merck maintains that the civil settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing.

Pfizer is accused of illegal marketing in 10 different lawsuits. The Detrol case is the last of the suits accusing the company of pitching its prescription drugs for unapproved uses, according to the Associated Press. Although some of these cases were dismissed, the pharmaceutical giant already has agreed to pay $2.3 billion in criminal and civil claims.

The FDA approved Detrol for frequent urination and bladder leaks. The company was accused of marketing Detrol for conditions like enlarged prostates and bladder obstruction, according to the AP.

A Chicago defective products lawyer and Chicago personal injury attorney should be contacted promptly if you or a loved one is dealing with a serious injury or wrongful death due to taking these one of these medicines. To learn more, call 877-595-HURT (4878) or visit more of http://www.briskmanandbriskman.com.

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