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Merck Sets $604 Mil. Vioxx Legal Defense Reserve; PR Battles Continue

Executive Summary

Merck will take a $604 mil. charge in the fourth quarter to establish a reserve for its defense of Vioxx litigation, an amount roughly equivalent to Singulair quarterly sales

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Vioxx litigation update

Merck is named as defendant in 2,300 Vioxx-related lawsuits, including 4,600 plaintiff groups alleging personal injuries following the use of the COX-2 inhibitor. The first trials are scheduled for May 23 in Alabama and May 31 in Texas. Merck has $675 mil. in reserve to cover the legal costs associated with the withdrawal of Vioxx in September 2004 (1"The Pink Sheet" Jan. 31, 2005, p. 7)...

Vioxx litigation update

Merck is named as defendant in 2,300 Vioxx-related lawsuits, including 4,600 plaintiff groups alleging personal injuries following the use of the COX-2 inhibitor. The first trials are scheduled for May 23 in Alabama and May 31 in Texas. Merck has $675 mil. in reserve to cover the legal costs associated with the withdrawal of Vioxx in September 2004 (1"The Pink Sheet" Jan. 31, 2005, p. 7)...

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Pfizer will have to show a "unique" benefit associated with Bextra in order to justify a return to the U.S. market, FDA Office of New Drugs Director John Jenkins said during an April 7 media conference call announcing the withdrawal of the COX-2 inhibitor

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