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Vioxx payouts may not be enough

A pharmacist holds up a bottle of the arthritis drug Vioxx.

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: For awhile, it looked like we would see a hundred years of Vioxx trials. But last year, drug company Merck settled the lawsuits over it's the painkiller for $4.8 billion. This week, that money starts going to the victims. Dan Grech reports.


Dan Grech: More than 97 percent of people who sued Merck agreed to the settlement. That's nearly 50,000 people. Individual payouts will range from $5,000 to several million dollars. Still, many claimants say it's not enough.

Al Pennington is a retired TV broadcaster who had a heart attack after taking Vioxx:

Al Pennington: When they see that $4.85 billion figure, the public thinks, wow, those people are going to be rich. But then a lawyer takes 35-40 percent, the plaintiff is left with very little.

Pennington says his check will barely cover the prescription drugs he now takes for his weakened heart.

Claimants will start receiving their checks in a few weeks. That doesn't mean Merck's troubles are over. The company still faces hundreds of potential lawsuits.

I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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Dan, "Blood money". You want to talk about "Blood Money" Look at the following quote from the FDA back in 2004.

"The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that Vioxx may have contributed to 27,785 heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths between 1999 and 2003. The estimate is based on the number of prescriptions issued for Vioxx between 1999 and 2003."

27,785 heart attacks strokes and deaths. That's at least 27,785 men and women who have had their lives ended or at least cut short. That's 27,785 people who will not be able to work full time jobs because of their poor health. That's 27,785 people who will be drawing social security or disability benefits early in their lives. That's 27,785 people who will lose their homes because they can't keep up with the mortgages. That's 27,785 people who will be paying for drugs for the rest of their lives. That's 27,785 people who will not be the productive members of society that they were before Merck gave us all that Great wounder drug Vioxx. But that hasn't stopped them from developing the next great wounder drug. Their latest development Gardasil The Great vaccine that might prevent some kind of cancer in young girls. Maybe. Perhaps you should see what you can learn about what is happening to the young girls that are getting that new wounder drug. These truly are Wounder drugs. Take them and then you wounder why your still alive. Why not just give the drug manufactures the right to experiment with their drugs on the general population. Oh, wait. That's what they are doing. Open your eyes Dan. It's not about money. Al Pennington

Dan -

You are NOT a finance major or even have much ability in that, or at least you are not showing it. Tell me truthfully, would you agree to suffer a heart attack, stroked or Pulmonary Embolism (and I won't even add Kidney disease for now) for about $100K? If you are likely. Tell you what, find someone, write up a contract for $100 million and challenge me to accept it. Go ahead, I accept and a medically induced heart attack is induced - and then I take my chance for death, a shorter life span, or maybe I'll be lucky and not die. Go ahead, find someone - and I will be more to sign on the dotted line - NO THANK YOU!!!

Please, just do some math and divide that by the numbers. Please realize that Merck will continue its wanton and (allegedly) murderous ways (and they cetainly DO SEEM to have more than one trick up their sleeves to get every ounce of profit, regardless of one's long term well being, up their sleeve.

Well, thanks for the counterview is I guess I could offer, as that is useful also.

Sincerely

Dennis Harrison

Look at the title of this article: $5 billion is not enough? That money is taken directly from the funding for the developement of new medication. Millions could be dying because that needed research is delayed, but now this is "not enough"! Harrison and the VPEG people aren't satisfied that a million people will die because research is dalayed a couple of years to pay their "settlement", instead they want to double the settlement (or more), and if that means two or three million die instead, they say "that's too bad". Not their concern. They could care less as long as they get more money. Blood money!

I agree with Ms Petty, there needs to be better labeling requirements. There also needs to be more simplified labeling. As it is now, you get three or four pages of fine print with every prescription. It's way to confusing for the average person.

I also agree with Mr Wiseman, there are a lot of people around the world who are alive today because of the efforts of modern phamacuitical advances.

There is a need to amend the FDA & FDCA Act. The product liability clause was omitted by congress in 1962, This over the years has allowed the pharmasuiticals manufacturing companies to get away with murder and injury and torture and experimenting on innocent public. the Off label allows them to put anything and anykind of pill in the bottle and give it to you. Without you knowing what that is in the making up of that pill. No ingredence. You can take it and maybe it will not hurt or kill you but if it does there is no law that will prosecute them for killing you or injury, No State No Federal Laws. This is caused Congress Preempted the Public Law FDA & FDCA Act. 1962. Eli Lilly just settled with South Dakota for 62 million dollars because of the off label Act. to reinburse Medicaid for putting the public at risk. another case Phamaceutical Co. Cephalon paid 425 million dollars for off-label drug marketing. again and again same old same old. No law or remedy for Product Liability for a defective prescription drug.

I meant Dan, not Solumn - also Dan, vPEG is kind of a home base, and FAR surpasses any of the other blogs in organization, numbers and respect. The other blogs are getting there a bit, but are so new they have no knowledge of the vast history and deep knowledge so many in vPEG have gained. It goes like this, at one time, vPEG was being attacked by other blogs - big time. That was a major disservice to many of the other blogs who did wish other info. Many insults flew around, and often did end up being some sparring, and often funny between some people, including self. Such does not exist with you (dan) and your cohort (solumn); you both just are consistently mean spitired towards all vIOXX victims and survivors. YOU often nothhing of any substantial value except for smart axx remarks. YOU have no sense of humor like at least other blogs seemed to have some of. YOU to provide zilch information except to whine that Merck ought to (allegedly)be allowed to experiment and kill unecessarily, and (allegedly) are apparently colluded and sanctioned with. Both of you just love to philosophize and neither one of you ever offer anything except smugness, holier than thou attitudes.

NOW I GOT IT - YOU HAVB TO BE FROM MERCK OR REPRESENTING MERCK! YOU HAVE TO BE. What you suggest is abolute garbage and fabrigated. I wonder if their is a slander issue here? WOW, you have you know whats. You are meaner, dumber, and more calculating than I would have ever guessed.

Please understand that Solumn is full of bulloney and this is untrue and garbage. Apparently, Solumn IS really nervous as he likely knows of two events this week that could blow the cover off of Merck and make them be more fair to all, and be brought to real, criminal justice. The "settlement" is likely to be improved if we are successful.

YUP - that is it, Solumn is nervous, must have Merck ties, and knows we are about to make some significant moves. Yup, he knows...

Mr Harrison rambles like a madman. Here are some of his statements:

Here he claims that vioxx "survivors" should be treated like survivors of the Holocaust:
Nov. 22, 2006 | Henry Greenspan is a psychologist and playwright at the
University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and is the the author of On Listening
to Holocaust Survivors: Recounting and Life History and, with Agi Rubin,
Reflections: Auschwitz, Memory, and a Life Recreated.

------------ > HE WROTE ON HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS; WHY NOT vIOXX SURVIVORS?;
WHAT DO YOU ALL THINK?
BONES

Here he tries to get people from one forum to attack a member of a different group who questioned rambling paranoia:
"apparently is still part of VPEG (he says he quit) but he listens to us,
then he goes to the TOPIX site, and tries to humiliate VPEG, besides me. I
don't know if ARCHIE1 SHOULD be allowed to stay in VPEG or not, not my
decision, but he is really confused, and mean. He says that I have ruined
VPEG and he constantly ridicules VPEG. - it would be really helpful, if I were able to get some help on
TOPIX - TALK about NET RAGE!!! I have tried to put
out useful information out there. It got unmercifully attacked, just
incredible actually. I tried again. Still, it continued. So, I had to revert
to being a smart axx back (sorry...) to try to get the person(s) to stop, it
has not worked"

Here he complains when is is told to stop disrupting a forum with his rants:
It is really quite ironic to be working my guts out to help so many, and the MDL and Merck darn know of my intentions and is not happy about it. I have some major incriminating evidence they will have to account for, there is no doubt about it. Now I can't even share that info or ask for support, as TOPIX is a blog site that cannot be trusted. They can mock VPEG, but it is PURE CLASS compared to this trashy site, and so are it's new groups as it segments itself to now really come after the MDL and Merck unles they fix this crappy settlement. Always remember, the truth trumps, and one knows in their heart they are right, they do need to ignore such snobbery as I see on this site. Back to ironic, I will remember this part of my life as trying so hard to help so many and getting such disgusting trashy meaness thrown my way. It will not stop me, as for every 1 bad apple, there are 20 good ones. However, I did think the individuals were more humane on TOPIX rather than just plain arrogant and mean. I was warning on TOPIX 2 years ago, well before anyone had a clue as to what was happening. Too many smart axxes on this site. Meanwhile, we move forward to work hard at getting subrogation and legal fees paid by Merck and more. What do we get for support - zip, zero. But coming this far, I do feel obligated for the 20 good apples against the one lousy one on average. Net rage and group swarming is not new. You should continue; I saw you attempt to answer some questions and provide information, above and beyond how you have consistently attempted to warn. These individuals were not even decent enough to just be quiet and let you be. Like a bunch of hawks in the sky, they just cannot wait to swoop down on you for any reason. Don't let it get to you, just keep providing your thoughts. The folks that are just dying for their crumbs and rubbing their hands together in anticipation of merely 10% of what they deserve, are desperate and it is true that MI/Strokes do present themselve as depression in the form of hostility.
They will just continue to be snotty and mean, you cannot change that apparently. I hope it is from their conditions, and not being just poor excuses for humans. Fruits by the fruitcakes is how I look at it.

Here a lawyer tries to explain why he doesn't even qualify for the Vioxx settlement:
Mr. Harrison, thanks for providing your case number. I looked up your docket: you’re not even eligible for the Vioxx settlement because you did not suffer a stroke or MI. You’re pro se, so you don’t even have a lawyer who is threatening to cease to represent you. The settlement doesn’t affect your case one bit. (Indeed, your case will be dismissed when you fail to meet a May 1 deadline for submitting a Daubert-compliant expert report, since no legitimate scientist is going to blame Vioxx for the injuries caused by your preexisting genetic condition, which probably explains why you are proceeding pro se.)

Here he attacks a real vioxx victim for disagreeing with him:
MIKE - YOU ARE A CLUELESS, MEAN person! What the helx is the matter with you? YOU are ONE creepy individual. Your know what doesn't stink, does it? YOU are one mean "intellectual dawdler", same snotty attitude no matter where you are. YOU act like a dumb animal going to slaughter, just refusing to even acknowledge anything that could help. A stubborn mule sounds familiar. A sheep awaiting for slaughter is another.
WHY are you trying to stand in the way of sonmeone who is trying to help so many people get MUCH more compensation, though a pittance x 3 is still a pittance, it is a better pittance. I wonder what make you tick except your cruel, mean spirited creepy remarks. I've tried/trying to help, you just sit back being a smart aleck, takin delight in you know it all attitude. And you merely bring out the worst in just a very few individuals to assist your mean spirted ways and YOU stop the flow of very good information and that lawyers have sold you down the river. You either think you are a big shot, or you are just so hung up on your snotty judgement of life in general. Good for you, I hope all of your family admires your snotty brilliance, wow are you one smart dude!!! You need pshychological help and a redo of your personality. Start all over as you are a lost case apparently.

This is one seriously disturbed person. He is either mentally ill or a full time drunk.

Hello xxxxxxx – WARNING TO ALL – THIS IS LONG – YOU CANNOT GET IT IN TWO SENTENCES. I DO NOT HAVE TIME TO KEEP TUNING IT TO MAKE IT SHORTER. PLEASE HIT DELETE IF NOT INTERESTED.

DEAD JAW is what happens after oral surgery, especially a tooth extracted when bone (jaw) does not heal. FOSAMAX "works" by inhibiting the body's natural ability to regenerate bone. Bone theoretically gets denser (biophosphates are imbedded in the bone, NOT because of bone growth). The jawbone is particularly susceptible. It is very serious, requires major surgery, and often leaves one deformed and also invites very dangerous infections. Worse, FOSAMAX and similar stay in bones up to 10 years. I tried to warn about FOSAMAX two years ago. Especially concurrent use of any cox-2 inhibitor as there is quite a bit of concern that since they basically stop the bone from healing (inflammation is necessary), and FOSAMAX and similar stops natural bone regeneration - double whammy.

There are also studies revealing that long term use of FOSAMAX and similar can weaken and lead to broken femurs (like yours truly) and then the fracture never heals if on vIOXX (yours truly). Much more also. BG did try to slip “settlement” forms on me and I of course said NO. I asked the courts to help find a way to alert the public on Dec. 14, 2006. Merck successfully objected to my plea to notify the public and to extend the statute of limitations. I have studied the whole Merck vIOXX tragedy diligently. Along the way, I learned much about MI/stroke issues, the “settlement”, courts, PSC, you name it! Merck has (allegedly) hidden MAJOR vIOXX problem(s) behind even worse problems of MI/stroke. They have also failed to acknowledge pulmonary embolism, kidney damage and high blood pressure. (Allegedly), they have used the MI/stroke "admittance" to shield knowledge of the other problems - vIOXX is (allegedly) a poisonous drug WAY past the fraudulent GATE process suggestions. The $5B should be $10B, lawyer fees should be all paid by Merck, all subrogation by Merck, the GATE PROCESS needs real medical certification - not Merck’s (allegedly) fraudulent view which the PSC apparently did not even challenge. Why did the large law firms simply roll over? We all now really know. Simply put, fair access to the courts has been denied, CIVIL RIGHTS have been violated, and the “average” mi/stroke litigant is pigeon holed into a (allegedly) corrupt, colluded, and fraudulent “settlement”. This was an agreement without real negotiations, a self imposed ‘fine” by Merck which is really only a small cost of doing business.

In re to FOSAMAX - it gets worse, there are studies suggesting that the every day wear and tear "stress fractures" of feet and spines often will not heal because of vIOXX and/or FOSAMAX. It becomes noticeable as one ages. It HURTS and can be very debilitating.

There is a WHOLE WORLD OF issues Merck just will not admit, meantime people do not have a clue how to treat their conditions or what caused them. This is why I have so tried to warn the public, now going on two years by the way. I did ask the courts to intercede, they refused. I DID suggest to the courts that I would make the public aware by myself if I had to. I also chose to also use the knowledge I acquired to warn the “settlement” individuals that Merck/PSC (allegedly) is pulling another fast one. I am just fine in my own litigation. I am certainly not bitter of initially not being in the settlement (again, I refused). Almost like it is a duty to help others at this point so they may have a chance of being FAIRLY treated -nothing else behind it! Too bad a few loud voices try to drown me out - with the additional support (I have much though) this “settlement” (my opinion) could be improved more rapidly.

I do pray that you do not have Dead Jaw. I am finding out that I may have it also, but I am not sure yet.

Sincerely

Dennis Harrison

Hey Solumn

I can keep going. You know, YOU started this. I never went after anyone except Merck, and frankly MANY, MANY damaged and then double damaged wish to. Why not stop. I will keep on if you do in re to these stupid insults. I will however feel free to post about Merck and how the (alleged) collusion took place. You have no right to stop that, futhermore it is simply the case. You should know by now I do not fear anything, the reason is simple. The TRUTH TRUMPS. So, please get out of my way, but more imporant and if you only will do one thing, PLEASE stop insulting me or ask more of the same. It is your choice.

I would, though, really like to know if you were damaged by vIOXX or if you are just providing opinion. It does matter in how people view your thoughts. Please be kind enough to let me/all of us know. Thankx.

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