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State gets $1.6 million in settlement against drug companies

Wisconsin will get almost $1.6 million in a legal settlement involving the way the painkiller Vioxx was advertised.

Today (Wednesday), the drug's manufacturer, Merck & Co., agreed to pay $58 million to 30 states.

The settlement involves allegations that Merck deceptively downplayed the health risks of Vioxx in its advertising.

State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says deceptive marketing is against Wisconsin law but the settlement allows Merck to refuse admitting wrongdoing.

The settlement does require Merck to submit its future TV commercials for drugs to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its review.

Vioxx was taken off the market four years ago after studies showed it doubled the risks of strokes and heart attacks.