WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. Merck announced yesterday that more than 44,000 of the approximately 47,000 people who registered injuries connected from taking the pain medication Vioxx have submitted some or all of the materials required for enrollment that could qualify them for an interim payment to resolve myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke claims filed against it.
In addition, about 5,000 other people have sought to enroll and are awaiting status on their eligibility. The 44,000 breaks down by, more than 16,000 claim problems related to ischemic stroke, more than 27,500 are connected to myocardial infarction.
“We are very pleased with the large number of enrollments we are seeing and are confident that when the enrollments are verified, all 85 percent thresholds will be met and exceeded within the timeframes in the agreement,” said Ted Mayer, of Hughes Hubbard & Reed, one of Merck’s coordinating defense counsel. “We are now working with the claims administrator to examine the registration and enrollment materials that have been received and continue to come in. There is a considerable amount of documentation that has to be reviewed before the definitive determination can be made that the thresholds have been met.”
The timely meeting of the thresholds with enrollment documents in compliance with the settlement agreement would obligate Merck to pay $4.85 billion in installments into the resolution fund.
Merck will allow patients to participate in the threshold up to Oct. 30, as long as they are eligible and participate in a timely manner.
Under the settlement agreement, Merck does not admit causation or fault with respect to these claims.