Merck & Co has agreed to pay $4.85 billion to settle U.S. claims of heart attacks and strokes allegedly linked to its withdrawn painkiller Vioxx, the drugmaker said on Friday.
The agreement, signed Friday morning, was reached with law firms on the steering committee for the federal Vioxx litigation as well as representatives of plaintiffs' counsel in state proceedings, Merck said.
It was signed after the parties met with three of the four judges overseeing the coordination of more than 95 percent of the current claims in the Vioxx litigation, Merck said.
Merck said the deal is not a class action settlement and claims will be evaluated on an individual basis.
(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)