Missouri will receive nearly $14 million, as part of a settlement of a multi-state lawsuit against drug manufacturer Merck.
The lawsuit centers on the prescription drug Vioxx, which the company marketed as a painkiller for people diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Merck has agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor for promoting the drug before receiving FDA approval, and it will pay $950 million in criminal and civil penalties. The company halted sales of Vioxx in 2004 after evidence showed the drug doubled the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Governor Jay Nixon (D) is defending his decision to explore the possibility of the state jointly running several county parks in St. Louis County that are being targeted for closure.
The parks in question include Lone Elk Park in West County, home to wild elk, turkey, deer and buffalo. State Senator Jim Lembke (R, Lemay) is questioning whether the governor has the authority to enter into such an agreement.