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Merck to Pay Nearly $700 Million to Settle Vytorin Claims

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- In what is being called one of the largest settlements of its kind, a leading drug maker agreed Thursday to pay millions to settle claims about a popular anti-cholesterol drug.

Merck wanted consumers to believe Vytorin was more effective than a competing drug in fighting plaque build-up in the neck artery.

A clinical trial proved otherwise, but Merck delayed analyzing it for months.  

When the news was finally made public that the competing drug was more successful than Merck's brand, prescriptions dropped, stock prices fell and investors sued.

Merck admits no wrongdoing, but agrees now to pay nearly $700 million to settle the lawsuits.

The plaintiffs’ attorneys say it's among the top 25 securities class action settlements of all time.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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