Merck pays $950m to settle case

Merck & Co will pay roughly $950m (£607.7m) to settle criminal and civil charges that it promoted the painkiller drug Vioxx for an unapproved use, the US Justice Department said last night. The fine will conclude a long-running investigation into Merck’s promotion of the drug, which was withdrawn from the market in September 2004. Merck had previously disclosed to investors the anticipated $950m charge ahead of the government announcement.