Friday, November 9, 2007

A Billion Here, A Billion There ...

How can I not say something about Merck agreeing to pay $4.85 Billion to settle thousands of lawsuits over their drug Vioxx? After all, it's one of the largest civil cases in history. The deal only works if 85% of the plaintiffs agree to drop their cases and there are 47,000 plaintiffs in 26,000+ lawsuits. The company still faces state and federal investigations.

When problems first came out analysts thought the liability could go as high as $50 billion so this probably looks like a deal.

Question is: how much is a life worth in today's court? How much are we willing to pay for our national drug addiction? How much harm can one company cause before people pressure their elected officials to change health care in our country?

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