Case History

Friday, February 8, 2008; Page A06

Case History

Merck's settlement of more than $650 million ends a seven-year legal marathon.

Dec. 2000: A federal complaint is filed under seal accusing Merck of improper sales practices for its arthritis drug Vioxx and cholesterol drug Zocor after Merck employee H. Dean Steinke sounds the alarm.

Jan. 2003: Steinke's lawyers approach state attorneys general to gauge their interest in the case.

July 2004: A new lead prosecutor is assigned to the case and pronounces the allegations too complicated and the case too difficult to prove.

April 2005: Nevada files its case against Merck after Deputy Attorney General Tim Terry takes an interest.

May 2006: Merck's motion to dismiss the case is denied, and a Nevada federal judge rules that Merck should have reported marketing discounts to the government.

Yesterday: Merck agrees to pay a settlement of more than $650 million. Steinke will receive about $68 million as the whistleblower.


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