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The government awards contracts to companies with histories of misconduct such as contract fraud and environmental, ethics, and labor violations. In the absence of a centralized federal database listing instances of misconduct, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is providing such data. We believe that it will lead to improved contracting decisions and public access to information about how the government spends hundreds of billions of taxpayer money each year on goods and services. Report an instance of misconduct »
Merck & Co., Inc.
Inflated Drug Prices (Massachusetts Lawsuit)
Date: 12/20/2011 (Date of Settlement Announcement)
Misconduct Type: Antitrust
Enforcement Agency: State/Local
Contracting Party: None
Court Type: Civil
Synopsis: Merck and its generic drug subsidiary, Warrick Pharmaceuticals Corporation, agreed to pay Massachusetts $24 million to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit brought by the Attorney General accusing Merck and 12 other companies of knowingly reporting inflated prices to industry price reporting services between 1995 and 2003. The lawsuit alleged that Merck (f/k/a Schering-Plough Corporation), its wholly-owned subsidiary, Schering Corporation, and Warrick reported false and inflated prices for three albuterol products, a drug used to treat asthma and other respiratory diseases. In September 2010, a federal jury awarded the Commonwealth $4.6 million in damages; following post-verdict motions, the judge awarded a total of $18 million (treble damages plus civil penalties and pre-judgment interest). Both sides settled in lieu of pursuing appeals of the trial court award.