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Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today said a Kentucky appellate court reversed a trial court's order certifying a class of consumers who sought reimbursement for out-of-pocket Vioxx costs.
A unanimous three-judge panel of the Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled that proceeding with a class-wide trial of plaintiff's claims would be inappropriate because "causation, reliance, and damages are required to be shown on an individual basis," and that "if the action were tried as a class…the case would essentially fragment into a series of amalgamated 'mini-trials.'" The court also pointed out that "class certification is typically not granted in prescription drug cases because of the individualized inquiries such litigation typically involves."
Since the beginning of this case, Merck maintained that proceeding with plaintiff's claims on a class-wide basis would not have resulted in a fair trial because each class member's circumstances varied. The company is satisfied with the court's decision that this was not an appropriate case to proceed as a class action.
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The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements: the possibility that the expected synergies from the merger of Merck and Schering-Plough will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation; the risk that the businesses will not be integrated successfully; disruption from the merger making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; Merck's ability to accurately predict future market conditions; dependence on the effectiveness of Merck's patents and other protections for innovative products; the risk of new and changing regulation and health policies in the U.S. and internationally and the exposure to litigation and/or regulatory actions.
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