The Wall Street Journal reports that Merck & Co. has been issued a criminal investigation subpoena by the U.S. Department of Justice regarding how Merck marketed its brain tumor medication, Temodar; its hepatitis C drug, PegIntron; and its cancer treatment, Intron A. In an August 2011 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Merck disclosed the subpoena as part of a “federal health-care investigation under criminal statutes”.
According to the August 9, 2011, Wall Street Journal article, Merck has been the subject of prior federal criminal probes concerning a range of healthcare fraud allegations, including Merck’s promotion of some drugs for nonapproved uses. One of these investigations concerns Merck’s albatross, Vioxx, for which Merck has reserved approximately $950 million for an emerging settlement in a federal investigation of how Merck researched, marketed, and sold Vioxx.
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