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As part of the $4.85 billion settlement of all Vioxx claims, Merck (NYSE:MRK) has agreed to begin payments to some of the nearly 50,000 claimants beginning August 28, 2008. Vioxx was the blockbuster painkiller that Merck withdrew from the worldwide market on September 30, 2004. It caused thousands of heart attacks and strokes. Merck has promised that payments to all claimants who have properly met the settlement guidelines will continue throughout 2008 and be completed by the end of 2009. For further details, go to the official website.

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