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Mo. to get $13.8M from settlement with drug maker

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says the state is getting $13.8 million from drug maker Merck in a settlement over marketing of the painkiller Vioxx.

The U.S. Justice Department announced Merck’s $950 million settlement with the federal government, 43 states and the District of Columbia on Tuesday. Merck agreed to pay about $322 million in criminal fines and $628 million for a civil settlement.

Koster says Missouri’s share will go to the state’s Medicaid program.

Officials say the settlement resolves allegations Merck made false or unproven statements about the safety of Vioxx and marketed the drug as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis before getting approval from regulators.

Merck says the settlement does not constitute an admission of liability or wrongdoing.

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