Michigan Court Rules State Cannot Sue Merck to Recover Vioxx Costs

A Michigan state appeals court ruled 2 to 1 recently that the state cannot sue the drug maker Merck and Co. to recover Medicaid costs spent on the drug Vioxx. Merck withdrew Vioxx from the market in 2004 after its own research showed the once-blockbuster drug doubled the risk of heart attack and stroke. The company paid $4.85 billion to settle most of the 50,000 lawsuits claiming that Vioxx harmed or killed users. According to InjuryBoard blogger and attorney Mark Bello, the 1995 law grants immunity to drug makers for any drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration and is the only law of its kind in the U.S. Michigan State Representative Lisa Brown has introduced a bill to change this anti-consumer law and stop the drug industry profiting from putting citizens at risk.