Bloomberg News (7/28, Voreacos, Johnson) reports "Merck & Co. paid claims to the families of 3,468 users of its Vioxx painkiller who died of heart attacks or strokes," a court-appointed administrator told a judge Tuesday. "A $4.85 billion settlement fund made payments to the families of 2,878 Vioxx users who died of heart attacks and 590 who died of strokes," according to the report. Merck "pulled Vioxx from the market in 2004 after a study showed it doubled the risk of heart attacks and strokes."
Well, it is nice to see families of victims obtain justice, but it is nevertheless a shame that so many lives had to have been lost before the dangerous drug was pulled from the market. Hopefully, the tragic results regarding Vioxx will compel drug companies to focus on safety above profits in the future.
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