The pain reliever Vioxx has been linked to a greater risk of heart attack and stroke in patients that have taken the drug. A number of lawsuits were filed against the drug manufacturer Merck. The company this week agreed to settle the cases with $4.8 Billion to be split by those affected.
The company reached an agreement with lawyers representing many of the 47,000 plaintiffs with claims early this morning, after extensive negotiations. The settlement could lead to payments for tens of thousands of Vioxx users who can prove they suffered a heart attack or stroke — and who have filed a claim by Nov. 8, 2007.
All of the parties involved in the lawsuits will need to agree to the terms of the settlement. Vioxx was pulled from the market in September of 2004.