Merck to fund Vioxx settlement in August

July 17, 2008 7:39:31 AM PDT
Merck says it will fund the $4.85 billion settlement designed to resolve tens of thousands of lawsuits related to its Vioxx painkiller, waiving its right to walk away from the settlement deal.Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based Merck & Co. says it is satisfied threshold levels needed to trigger the funding will be met, and therefore on Aug. 4 will waive its right to walk away from the deal.

Merck will then make total payments of $4.85 billion into the settlement fund, with the first $500 million payment scheduled for Aug. 6.

Payments to claimants will begin to be made before the end of August. Nearly 60,000 people have registered a claim that the once-popular painkiller caused a heart attack or stroke.