Health insurers, unions and other private groups that paid for prescriptions for the withdrawn painkiller Vioxx have settled their claims with its maker, Merck & Co., for $80 million. These third-party payers filed about 190 claims against the drugmaker claiming they would not have covered Vioxx had they known about its risks. As everybody now knows, Merck pulled the blockbuster painkiller from the market in 2004 because it doubled the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
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