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Published on 30 June 2008

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60,000 claim against painkiller drug

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Almost 60,000 people have registered a claim against US drugmaker Merck & Co over its painkiller Vioxx.

Administrators say they have enough records to review about 9,100 cases from people who claim the once-popular painkiller was the cause of their stroke or heart attack.

Orran Brown of BrownGreer, the law firm administering the claims, has told a US district judge that claims in the £2.46 billion settlement against Merck are still being received in the lead-up to the two deadlines early next week.

Andy Birchfield, a plaintiffs’ attorney, said: “We’re working toward making initial payments in August, and we’re on track for that.”

Monday is the deadline for filing a set of required legal papers, and the firm has those for 51,391 people, Brown said.

Tuesday is the deadline for medical and pharmacy records to back up claims. As this deadline is often difficult to meet, extensions are built in from 1 July to 1 September to 1 November and 30 November, said Mr Brown’s business partner Lynn Greer.

Copyright © PA Business 2008

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