Merck paying $671 million to settle charges

Another example demonstrating that mandatory government health care is a bad idea: It would be a massive, IRS-enforced wealth transfer from the American taxpayers to Big Pharma. — PID

Feb 8, 2008 (MSNBC) — Merck and Co. has agreed to pay $671 million to settle claims that it overcharged Medicaid programs for four drugs, including Vioxx and Zocor, and to resolve allegations of improper marketing to doctors, U.S. prosecutors and company officials announced Thursday. Drug companies are required to report to the government the lowest price for its product to ensure that Medicaid programs get the benefit of the same discount. Merck, however, was hiding the steep discounts it gave to hospitals by reporting higher prices to the government, prosecutors said. From 1997 to 2001, Merck also gave money and perks to doctors and other health care professionals to entice them to prescribe Merck drugs, a practice the government called excessive. Full Report