In a surprise move, giant pharmaceutical manufacturer Merck is considering settling some of the Vioxx claims. The admission, reported in last Friday’s Wall Street Journal, would pertain to individuals without risk factors for heart attack or stroke and who took Vioxx for more than eighteen months. The revelation appears counter to the company’s previous position of fighting each of the Vioxx lawsuits.

Although the new position was communicated by a Merck spokesperson, the company’s chief counsel has stated that Merck’s strategy of fighting every claim has not changed. Other legal experts believe the decision to settle at least some of the claims will actually be a cost-saving measure for Merck over the long-run.

The apparent decision to settle cases among individuals who used Vioxx for more than a year and a half, and who were absent cardiovascular risk factors, will involve an undetermined number of claims. Risk factors are conditions that have been found to be associated with increases in heart disease. Major risk factors include heredity, age, smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and physical inactivity.

It is estimated that more than 20 million people took Vioxx in the United States alone, before the drug was pulled from the marketplace last September. Merck withdrew Vioxx after a company sponsored clinical trial found an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes in people who took the drug for more than 18 months.

On August 19th, a Texas jury found Merck liable for the death of a 59-year old man who took Vioxx for eight months. The jury awarded his widow $253 million in damages although the award is likely to be capped to about $26 million under Texas law.



We're here to help!

We live by our creed of "helping those who need it most" and have helped thousands of clients get the justice they desperately needed and deserved. If you feel you have a case or just have questions please contact us for a free consultation. There is no risk and no fees unless we win for you.

Fields marked    may be required for submission.
  1. I'm an attorney

Merck to pay $830 million to settle investors’ Vioxx...

Merck announced Friday it will pay $830 million to settle investor complaints accusing it of committing...

Merck to pay nearly $1 billion for illegal marketing...

American pharmaceutical company Merck, Sharp & Dohme has agreed to pay $950 million to resolve criminal...

Merck paying more than 3,100 vioxx death claims

Merck & Co. is paying claims by the families of more than 3,100 users of its Vioxx painkiller who...

Settlement limits insurers' claims in Vioxx deal

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- Former Vioxx users getting part of a $4.85 billion settlement ending most personal...

Persistence pays in Vioxx litigation

Plaintiffs get close to $5B, but Merck could have done a lot worse. Attorneys who spent nearly one year...

Vioxx settlement payments to begin in August

Merck & Co., manufacturer of Vioxx, announced it will make the first payment of $500 million on Aug....

I never dreamed how much this would mean to me

I received another check today, much to my surprise. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I never dreamed how much this would mean to me in my golden years, as I have had hearing problems for years and needed to update my hearing aids, but with a limited income, found that was impossible. I now have the best hearing aids that I have ever had, thanks to you fighting so hard on my behalf.

—Gladys