Merck Resolves Vioxx® Litigation in Canada
January 19, 2012 8:08 am ET
Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada,
announced today that it has entered into an agreement to resolve all
claims related to Vioxx® in Canada. The agreement was signed by Merck
and plaintiffs’ representatives and is pending approval by courts in
“This agreement is structured to provide certainty and finality toward
resolving Vioxx cases in Canada for a fixed amount,” said Bruce N.
Kuhlik, executive vice president and general counsel of Merck. “Under
the agreement, there will be an orderly, documented and objective
process to examine individual claims to determine qualification.”
If the agreement is approved and specified conditions are met, Merck
will pay a total amount of at least C$21,806,250 but not more than
C$36,881,250. This would resolve all Vioxx certified class actions,
putative class actions, other litigation and claims related to Vioxx in
The amount to be funded for Vioxx users in Canada will be between
C$11,306,250 and $26,381,250 and will be determined by the final number
of eligible claimants. Claims for myocardial infarction and sudden
cardiac death will be evaluated on an individual basis by an independent
administrator based on objective criteria related to various factors,
including duration of Vioxx use, age and presence of risk factors.
Individual awards for ischemic stroke claims will be a uniform amount
not to exceed C$5,000.
The resolution also includes fixed costs of C$6,000,000 for class
counsel fees, C$3,500,000 for Canadian provinces and territories and
C$1,000,000 for administrative expenses involved in the implementation
of the resolution. Should administrative expenses or approved fees
exceed these amounts, any excess will be paid from the amount to be
funded for eligible Vioxx users.
Merck’s decision to resolve this litigation is based upon the specifics
of the Canadian lawsuits and the Canadian legal system. This resolution
only applies to litigation in Canada and has no impact on pending
litigation in any other country.
Merck continues to believe that the evidence shows the company acted
responsibly with Vioxx, from the careful study in clinical trials
involving about 10,000 patients before its approval by regulatory
authorities around the world, through the careful safety monitoring
while Vioxx was on the market, right up through the decision to
voluntarily withdraw the medicine in September 2004.
This agreement in Canada does not include any statement to the contrary
and does not constitute any admission of liability.
Today’s Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be
well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada.
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consumer care and animal health products, we work with customers and
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