Merck agrees to pay $830 million to settle Vioxx securities lawsuit

September 12, 2017
By: Kathy VanderVeur

In January 2016, Merck & Co said it would pay $830 million to settle a federal class action lawsuit involving allegations the company failed to adequately inform investors about heart risks from its now-recalled Vioxx pain medication.

Vioxx was approved by U.S. regulators in 1999 as a new type of treatment for pain and quickly became a blockbuster product, ultimately used by an estimated 20 million Americans. However, in 2004, the Merck recalled Vioxx from the market after a colon-polyp prevention study showed it more than doubled the risk of heart attacks or stroke after 18 months of use. After thousands of former users of Vioxx sued Merck, claiming they had been harmed by the drug, Merck in 2008 settled most remaining product-liability lawsuits for $4.85 billion.

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