ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Drugmaker Merck & Co. Inc. could pay up to $220 million in the settlement of a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of Missouri consumers of the prescription pain reliever Vioxx.
Attorney for the consumers, Patrick Stueve, says Thursday's agreement settles claims that New Jersey-based Merck violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act by promoting and selling the arthritis drug.
Merck removed Vioxx from the market in 2004 after evidence showed it doubled the risk of heart attack and stroke.
The settlement requires Merck to pay all validated claims submitted by Missouri Vioxx users, along with attorneys' fees and other costs. Stueve declined to say how many consumers would benefit from the settlement if it is approved by the Jackson County Circuit Court.
Merck has admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement.