Remember the little problem with Vioxx? As a result, Vioxx still has more than 13,800 lawsuits on the docket. Over the last two years, only four trials have been held, but Judge Carol Higbee is looking to pick up the pace — from glacier slow to snail-in-winter slow. Higbee’s goal, according to Pharmalot, is to “ease the logjam”. But Pharmalot points out:
With so many lawsuits, it’s entirely possible that many of the Vioxx plaintiffs will never see their day in court, or collect if they do win, because Merck is appealing every outcome that doesn’t go its way. For this reason, Wall Street believes Merck’s Vioxx liability is $5 billion, not the $25 billion or more that many once estimated.
Lesson for Big Pharma: Sometimes it’s better for your product to suck a lot, rather than just a little. (Especially for your lawyers.)150