Merck could pay billion-dollar settlement over Vioxx

Merck will shell out billions over its pain medication Vioxx.

The company says it will pay 4.8 billion dollars to settle thousands of lawsuits filed by people or family members who claim Vioxx proved fatal or injured its users.

Merck faced nearly 27,000 lawsuits representing 47,000 plaintiffs. The deal becomes binding only if 85% of all plaintiffs agree to drop their cases.

Merck withdrew Vioxx from the market in 2004.

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