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From Medicineworld.org: Vioxx could cost Merck $50 billion

Merck trying to settle Jury finds negligence vioxx Health news  

Vioxx could cost Merck $50 billion


Recently a court in Texas has awarded to widow of a victim of heart attack death $253 million in total damages related to Vioxx. Merck's liability regarding Vioxx is going to be much higher than this bill paid to this widow. The drug giant's total disability bill could easily hit $50 million as per analysts. The stock research firm Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co. said that the estimate would go far beyond the current verdict.

The analysts evaluated the recent verdict by the Texas Superior Court that holds the drug giant liable for failing to safeguard the interests of patients with reference to dangers of Vioxx. Based on these conclusions the jury has ordered to pay $253 million in total damages to Carol Ernst for the 2001 death of her husband, a Vioxx patient.

Merck has contended that its drug did not kill anyone and has vowed to fight all the cases. "We believe that we have meritorious defenses and intend to vigorously defend Vioxx cases one by one," Merck spokesman Guy Bizzoco said. "Each one has a different set of facts and we expect to be trying them for many years."

Apart from the one case the Texas Jury made decisions, Merck is still facing about 4,200 cases from other Vioxx plaintiffs. Most of these cases are filed in New Jersey, where the company is based, and in a federal court in New Orleans. The total cases involved with Vioxx are expected to increase up to 100,000 in the coming months.

The Friedman, Billings report, calculated the $ 50 million based on a $2 million awarded to 25,000 cases. Analysts project failure in some of the filed lawsuits while some others ought to succeed.

At the time of withdrawal from the market (Sept. 30, 2004) Vioxx was bringing in a total sale of $2.5 billion in annual sales for Merck. The drug represented about 10 percent of the drug giant's annual sales. The drug was withdrawn when a Merck sponsored study showed that intake of Vioxx for more than 18 months is associated with increased risk of heart attack and stroke.


Did you know?
Recently a court in Texas has awarded to widow of a victim of heart attack death $253 million in total damages related to Vioxx. Merck's liability regarding Vioxx is going to be much higher than this bill paid to this widow. The drug giant's total disability bill could easily hit $50 million as per analysts. The stock research firm Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co. said that the estimate would go far beyond the current verdict.

Medicineworld.org: Vioxx could cost Merck $50 billion

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