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Rofecoxib, marketed as Vioxx by Merck, is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that was used to treat arthritis and other conditions causing pain before it was withdrawn from the market in 2004 because of evidence that it was associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Following this disclosure, Vioxx was named in numerous lawsuits filed against Merck. In 2011, Merck reached an agreement with the United States, and with 43 states and the District of Columbia individually, to pay over $600 million to resolve civil litigations related to Vioxx, as well as a fine of over $300 million for introducing Vioxx into interstate commerce. Previously, in 2007, Merck had paid $4.95 billion to settle lawsuits brought by patients who claimed they had ...

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