Pfizer, Inc. has begun discussing settlement for some Celebrex and Bextra lawsuits pending throughout the United States. According to the Wall Street Journal, the pharmaceutical company which sold both pain medications, has reached tentative deals with some individuals who suffered heart attacks or strokes which were associated with use of the drugs.
Thousands of individuals have filed Celebrex lawsuits and Bextra lawsuits claiming that the COX-2 inhibitors caused an injury. Both drugs are in the same class of medications as Vioxx, which was recalled in September 2004 due to cardiovascular risks. In April 2005, Pfizer issued a Bextra recall, but they kept Celebrex on the market with much stronger warnings.
The report indicates that the Bextra settlement offers have averaged about $200,000.00 for each claim and the Celebrex settlement offers have averaged about $40,000.00 to $50,000 per case. Pfizer is negotiating the settlement of lawsuits on a firm-by-firm basis, instead of attempting to arrange a global settlement like Merck did with Vioxx last November.
According to lawyers representing individuals injured by Celebrex and Bextra, Pfizer’s attorneys have indicated that the pharmaceutical company is currently willing to pay as much as $500 million to resolve all outstanding cases. By contrast, Merck’s Vioxx settlement involved an agreement to pay $4.85 billion to resolve about twice as many lawsuits.
According to financial reports, Pfizer reported Celebrex sales of $611 million during the first three months of 2008. Therefore, the Bextra and Celebrex settlements are unlikely to have much of a financial impact on the drug maker.