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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Each widow will get $72,000: Merck's settlement for Vioxx adverse drug reactions

Merck will pay almost $5 billion in a settlement with the 27,000 plaintiffs. Each plaintiff who took Vioxx for a month or more, and had a heart attack or stroke within two weeks of taking Vioxx, will get an average of $120,000. When attorney's fees are subtracted, each plaintiff will wind up with an average of only $72,000.

Yale Law School Professor Peter Shuck says Merck "played hardball, and the settlement reflects that. The predicted liabilities for them were much, much higher."

Dr. Eric Topol agrees: "They've gotten off quite easily for the problems they've engendered," said the co-author of an important medical journal article warning of the risks of Vioxx.

Advice for users of Vioxx: Ask a lawyer for advice. You don’t necessarily need to accept the settlement, but note that most people who sued Merck individually have lost.

Read the story of a successful Vioxx plaintiff, or read more from the source article by Alex Berenson in today’s New York Times.

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