Friday, November 09, 2007

Merck Agrees to $4.85 Billion to Settle Vioxx Claims

The NY Times reports that Pharmaceutical giant Merck has agreed to pay $4.85 billion to settle 27,000 lawsuits by people who claim they or their family members suffered injury or died after taking the drug, according to two lawyers with direct knowledge of the matter. Based on the fact that the 27,000 suits cover about 47,000 sets of plaintiffs, the average plaintiff will receive just over $100,000 before legal fees and expenses, which usually swallow between 30 and 50 percent of payments to plaintiffs.

Merck withdrew Vioxx from the market in September 2004, after a clinical trial proved that it increased the risks of heart attacks and strokes. But internal company documents showed that Merck’s scientists were concerned about the risks of Vioxx several years earlier. And a large clinical trial that ended in 2000 also showed that Vioxx was much riskier than naproxen, an older painkiller sold under the name Aleve.

Read the entire story here.


plez sez: do the math people... if a plaintiff settles, all they can expect to get is between $50,000 and $70,000 after legal fees. this appears to be a no-win situation for the poor people who were adversely affected by this drug.

4 comments:

Anitra said...

This is a topic I do have an opinion on... My Uncle was taking a drug that was later re-called for the severe liver damage it caused. He took this pill for years. Over one year ago he fainted from a brain aneurysm, which happened to be due to the stress from his failing liver, and almost died. Two months later he had his liver replaced, and a year after that he had another organ removed.

How do I feel about this situation? I'm actually angry at my Uncle for trusting his doctor when he knew the drug he was taking was controversial. He could've avoided the damage to his body by doing some research on his own and figuring an alternative to his medical treatment.

Suing isn't the answer for the aftermath of injesting a drug that you know can lead to irreversible damage. I know my Uncle wouldn't feel better about $70K in his pocket. He'd rather have his health, which HE gave away.

CapCity said...

i just came out of hiding to say Hi! I don't trust most drugs (legal or otherwise) & prefer wholistic alternatives...

plez... said...

anitra,
you cannot put a price on good health nor can you quantify the penalty for the cause of poor health... and that is the quandry that these drugs companies leave their customers when they sell products that do more harm than good.

cap,
hey there! glad that you came out of hiding to pass thru plezWorld... wishing you all the best and a speedy return to the blogosphere.

Lola Gets said...

Look people, if you read the product information for Vioxx, Celebrex, and Bextra, it says that it can cause heart damage! I know, cause I read them all! And I took them all becuase I suffer from chronic pain. People need to take charge of their health, empower themselves, and do the research before popping any pill!
Sorry, I jes got a lil overexcited, lol.
L