Merck & Co.

Recovery Amount: $400 Million


In February 2008, Merck & Co. agreed to pay $400 million to settle qui tam, whistleblower-led claims that the drug company had defrauded Medicaid and other publicly-funded healthcare programs.

The claims in the case alleged that Merck had violated the False Claims Act by providing  false drug pricing information, failing to pay required rebates on drug purchases reimbursed by Medicaid, and illegally offering hospitals deep discounts (“kickbacks”) to use several of the company’s drugs, including Vioxx® and Zocor®, in place of competitors’ brands.

The settlement was the culmination of 7 years of investigation and litigation and, at the time, was the second largest civil False Claim Act recovery to federal and state Medicaid programs.

This case also introduced a new approach to False Claims Act litigation, which has served as a model for subsequent cases—coordinated, nationwide investigative efforts and enforcement by the federal government, the States and private counsel, all cooperatively acting together.

The lead whistleblower in the Merck case was a former Merck district sales manager, represented by Whistleblower Advocate attorney Steve Cohen and co-counsel.  Read more

U.S. Dept of Justice Press Release
EDPA Press Release
Nevada Press Release

To learn more about the Merck case, visit

If you have knowledge and solid evidence of fraud or false claims against the government, please contact our Chicago whistleblower attorneys. Consultations are free and confidential.