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English claims against Vioxx manufacturer are on brink of collapse

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 01 December 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:1292
  1. Clare Dyer, legal correspondent
  1. BMJ

    A compensation claim in the English courts against Merck, the US manufacturer of the withdrawn painkiller rofecoxib (Vioxx), looks set to be abandoned because the 500 claimants cannot get funding.

    An appeal against the refusal of legal aid was turned down this week, and hopes for a no win, no fee deal backed by insurance have been dashed.

    If the case went ahead on a no win, no fee basis, insurance would be necessary to cover Merck's estimated costs of £5m ($8.6m; £7.3m) if the claimants lost. Insurers will sometimes agree to take a deferred premium—collecting a premium …

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