November 9, 2007: Merck & Co agreed to pay $4.85 billion to settle claims that its painkiller Vioxx caused heart attacks and strokes. Vioxx was prescribed to 80 million patients from May 1999 to September 2004, when it was voluntarily recalled by Merck. Following the recall, suits were filed on behalf of 47,000 claimants across the US. “Great news,” exclaims Attorney Carlos . “So many people were affected by this case that we’re thrilled to see Merck taking steps toward compensation.” Merck had consistently maintained that it would fight litigation. However, after 6 years of litigation, ruling judges asked both sides to reach an agreement. More information on Vioxx.