ST. LOUIS (AP) — Drugmaker Merck & Co. Inc. could pay up to $220 million in the settlement of a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of Missouri consumers of the prescription pain reliever Vioxx.
Attorney for the consumers, Patrick Stueve, says the agreement announced Thursday settles claims that New Jersey-based Merck violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act by promoting and selling the drug.
Merck removed Vioxx from the market in 2004 after evidence showed it doubled the risk of heart attack and stroke.
The settlement requires Merck to pay validated claims submitted by Missouri Vioxx users, attorneys' fees and other costs. Stueve declined to say how many consumers could benefit from the settlement if it is approved by a judge.
Merck took a $39 million charge in the third quarter for the settlement.