Merck Settles Vioxx Lawsuits For $4.85 Billion

Merck has announced that it has agreed to settle the majority of the 60,000 Vioxx-related individual claims against it.

MarketWatch has the details:

To participate in the settlement, claimants must provide documented evidence that they received at least 30 Vioxx pills and that they suffered a stroke or heart attack within 14 days of consuming the medication.

As part of the settlement, Merck will not admit liability. If 85% of all plaintiffs claiming injury from heart attack or stroke do not join the settlement by March 1, 2008, Merck can walk away from the deal.

“This is a good and responsible agreement that will allow the company to concentrate even more fully on its mission of discovering, developing and delivering novel medicines and vaccines,” Richard Clark, Merck’s chairman, president and chief executive, said in a statement. “The agreement is structured to provide a significant degree of certainty toward resolving the majority of the outstanding Vioxx product liability claims in the United States for a fixed amount.”

The settlement will affect about 50,000 of the 60,000 cases, if everyone who is eligible takes the offer.

Merck settles Vioxx suits for $4.85 billion