Deliver Your News to the World

Merck Wins Summary Judgment in Texas Attorney General’s Lawsuit Involving VIOXX®


WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., - Merck said today that Travis County, Texas District Court Judge Scott H. Jenkins granted Merck’s motion for summary judgment, dismissing all claims in a VIOXX-related lawsuit filed on behalf of the State of Texas.

In that case, which was filed in 2005 by the Texas Attorney General’s Office, the state sought damages and penalties from Merck for alleged violations of the Texas Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act (TMFPA), including a refund of all monies that the state had spent on VIOXX.

In its motion for summary judgment, Merck maintained, among other things, that the evidence showed that the company acted responsibly and truthfully in its communications about VIOXX with the State of Texas, doctors in the state and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Merck further pointed out that the TMFPA was not designed to apply to claims such as those brought by the state, and that the state had failed to elicit any evidence demonstrating that Merck had caused the state damages. After reviewing the briefs of the parties and hearing oral argument, the court rejected the state’s claims, dismissing each of them with prejudice.

“We are gratified with the court’s ruling,” said Bruce Kuhlik, executive vice president and general counsel of Merck. “Merck remains committed to communications that help patients and their physicians choose medicines based on accurate, fair and balanced information.”

Merck vigorously defended the lawsuit for over four years in Texas state court in Austin. By dismissing the claims, the court concluded that a trial of the state’s claims was not necessary.

The Texas case was the first of twelve similar lawsuits filed by state attorneys general around the country to reach a final judgment at the trial court level. A trial in the case filed against Merck by the Louisiana Attorney General is scheduled to begin in federal court in New Orleans on April 12, 2010.

Merck has and will continue to vigorously defend all of these cases.

Status of Litigation
Merck voluntarily withdrew VIOXX from the market on September 30, 2004. In November of 2007, Merck entered into an agreement to resolve state and federal myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke personal injury claims filed or tolled by Nov. 9, 2007. More than 99 percent of all eligible personal injury claimants enrolled in the program, and the program is proceeding as scheduled.

About Merck
Today’s Merck is working to help the world be well. Through our medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer and animal products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching programs that donate and deliver our products to the people who need them. Merck. Be Well. For more information, visit

Forward Looking Statement
This news release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements may include, but are not limited to, statements about the benefits of the merger between Merck and Schering-Plough, including future financial and operating results, the combined company’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements that are not historical facts. Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Merck’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements: the possibility that the expected synergies from the merger of Merck and Schering-Plough will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period, due to, among other things, the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and pending legislation that could affect the pharmaceutical industry; the risk that the businesses will not be integrated successfully; disruption from the merger making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; Merck’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; dependence on the effectiveness of Merck’s patents and other protections for innovative products; the risk of new and changing regulation and health policies in the U.S. and internationally and the exposure to litigation and/or regulatory actions.

Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in Merck’s 2008 Annual Report on Form 10-K, Schering-Plough’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2009, the proxy statement filed by Merck on June 25, 2009 and each company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site:


This news content was configured by WebWire editorial staff. Linking is permitted.

News Release Distribution and Press Release Distribution Services Provided by WebWire.