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Home Industry News Merck says Vioxx payments will begin in August

Merck says Vioxx payments will begin in August

21st July 2008

Health insurer Merck has confirmed it is to start paying out to stroke victims who have used Vioxx (rofecoxib).

On its website, the company reported the first claimants would receive initial payments next month.

The Food and Drug Administration originally said the risks presented by Vioxx were very small but Merck withdrew the drug when it found that chronic use may cause a higher risk of heart attack and stroke.

Payment of the claims is to be handled by BrownGreer. The claims administrator says it has received forms from around 95 per cent of qualified people by the March 31st deadline, including medical evidence.

According to the report, in total Merck is obliged to pay a fixed sum of $4.85 billion (2.43 billion pounds) in compensation.

Claimants will receive 40 per cent of their final amount when the first cheques go out next month.

Bruce N Kuhlik, executive vice-president and general counsel of Merck, said the company had reached an important milestone in showing its resolution program was on track.

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