Criminal Prosecution of Merck and Company, Inc.

Merck and Company Inc., agreed to pay $399 million plus interest to resolve allegations that Merck failed to properly include discounts on Vioxx (no longer marketed), Zocor, and Mevacorin in the "best prices" reported to CMS under the Medicaid drug rebate program and, as a result, underpaid rebates owed to the States and overcharged entities that purchased Merck products under the 340B Drug Pricing Program. The United States alleged that Merck sales representatives induced physicians to use its drug products by making, among other forms of illegal remuneration, payments that were disguised as fees for training, consultation, or market research. Merck agreed to this settlement at the same time it settled a matter in Louisiana, involving similar discounted pricing programs offered to hospitals for another Merck drug, Pepcid. Through both settlements, Merck agreed to pay a total of $649 million plus interest. Merck further agreed to enter into a 5-year CIA with HHS/OIG that includes corrective measures to address its conduct in both cases.

Source: HHS Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program, Annual Report for FY 2008

This article was posted on July 15, 2012.

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