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Merck Agrees To Settle Mo. Vioxx Lawsuit

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Drugmaker Merck & Co. Inc. has reached a settlement in a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of Missouri consumers who used the prescription pain reliever Vioxx for treatment of arthritis conditions.

The settlement was over claims that New Jersey-based Merck violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act through the promotion and sale of Vioxx. The agreement must still be approved by Jackson County Circuit Court.

The settlement requires Merck to pay all validated claims submitted by Missouri Vioxx users, along with attorneys' fees and other costs. All told, Merck could pay up to $220 million, according to the agreement.

Merck admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement.

Vioxx was removed from the market in 2004 after evidence showed it doubled the risk of heart attack and stroke.

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