Celebrex and Bextra Class Action Settlement Paid

Bextra is off the market

Celebrex is still sold with warnings

THIS IS A MARCH 13 2015 UPDATE FOLLOWING ONTARIO AND QUEBEC COURT APPROVAL IN FEBRUARY OF THE ACTUAL PAYOUT OF APPROVED CLAIMS IN THE CELEBREX BEXTRA CLASS ACTION. THE CLAIMS HAVE BEEN PAID. NO NEW CLAIMS CAN BE MADE:

Celebrex, Vioxx and Bextra were similar class popular anti inflammatory prescription drugs until late in 2004. Vioxx was recalled by the manufacturer Merck over 10 years ago with the Bextra recall soon after. The prescription drug Celebrex is still sold and used by people today but with strong risk warnings. Both Bextra and Celebrex are products of the drug company Pfizer and are both included in the same class action.

Class action claims related to all three of these prescription drugs have settled. The deadline for submitting claims for settlement of the class action in Canada for Pfizer’s drugs Celebrex and Bextra was December 22, 2012. We continue to hear from potential new clients in regard to Celebrex but we can not do anything for people who did not have claims submitted by the deadline.  We are acting for some claimants for Celebrex and Bextra, although most of our clients with similar claims relate to the drug Vioxx manufactured by Merck.  All 3 of these drugs are Cox-2 inhibitors which are a specific form of non steroidal anti inflammatory drug which is believed to have the effect of increasing the risk of users to have heart attacks or strokes.

We submitted claims on behalf of our Bextra and Celebrex clients.  We understand that there have been 209 approved claims in total.   Since the deadline has passed for further claims we have received claim assessments for all of our clients. The assessments we have on Bextra are good and our clients are pleased with them.  Actual payments will be 34.76746% of the assessed amount  or just over 40% for claims given the maximum assessment.  Letters from the class action administrator are expected for each claim saying how much will be paid and confirming information for purposes of payment.  Funds were received by our office on March 12, 2015. The individual payments had to be approved by the court in Quebec for Quebec and in Ontario for the rest of Canada before they could be made.

For the Vioxx claims following finalization of the settlement approval which allowed claims to be filed until August 2013 there are an estimated 1200 Vioxx claims that were submitted.  Our firm represents a substantial number of the people with Vioxx claims.  The Vioxx recall received considerable publicity with many Vioxx users being switched to Celebrex after. The Vioxx claims was fought hard by Merck and had a much higher profile than the case related to Celebrex and Bextra.  Pfizer has been far more co-operative in dealing with claims and a settlement in Canada was reached about a year earlier with more generous terms to the settlement.  The amount paid out on all claims is just under $5,000,000 to be divided between all approved claims proportionately.  Claims were paid out at less than 35% of the full assessment and just over 40% for the claims assessed at the $100,000 maximum.   Additional to this 170 of the claims have been approved for payment of expenses related to the cost of medical records needed to prove the claims.  The additional amounts as well were paid out at the same percentage of the total amount.  For example if medical records cost $100 the expense partially repaid is $34.76.  There is also some reimbursement for the cost of the medication.

The Bextra Celebrex status of slow processing of a much smaller number of claims is a definite indicator that it may be some time before Vioxx claims are actually paid. We are now thinking we will not see any payments on Vioxx until mid to late 2016.   Payment of Vioxx claims will not take place until all of the claims have been assessed which was to be complete by the end of May 2015 but it not.  Payment is then made “pro-rata” based on a division of the total funds available for the settlement.  Fortunately it is expected that there will be interim payments on Vioxx which there were not on Bextra and Celebrex.

54 Comments

  • Norm Kowalsky says:

    Is there any information when the payout for Vioxx is taking place We were informed, in November 2015 the payout would be just after New Year 2016. To date no one has any idea. Why the long delay

  • Surender says:

    I for one am glad that Pfizer is finally getintg caught with their proverbial pants down. They made billions on Neurontin and other drugs. They lied to the public, the doctors even to themselves. Money hungry thats all they are. Put a black box warning let the people make an informed choice. They pleaded guilty. Now they should pay for the deaths that they caused by misinforming the public. Every single one who lost a loved one or had a loved one injured while taking this drug should be compensated. The insurance companies are and nobody died writing out the checks to Pfizer. Do I sound bitter darn right I do my husband killed himself while taking neurontin for only 6 months if we would have been warned maybe we would have known what was going on. Insurance companies got millions for prescribing, the whistle blower got millions for turning them in, Pfizer is still making billions and the people left behind in devistation are losing their loved ones, homes and etc how much should our dead loved ones be worth.

  • Richard D Lalonde says:

    Xmas is coming!

  • Ann says:

    Collectiva confirming contact info. Payments will be sent registered mail. A letter will be mailed before the cheque.

    • Derebe says:

      Hi Murray.Was wondering what was happening with the Vioxx settlement approval, it has been pushed back from soon in January, to late spring early summer and now it is summer 2012.Is there any word on opposition to the settlement?I really can’t blame people for being upset and opposing the proposed settlement. What really floored me was when I read a news article that claimed the class action lead lawyer praised Merck for settling. First thought was whose side is he on. Second thought was what a slap in the face for those excluded from the settlement.Not blaming you Murray, you have been the most informative person on the class action and your comments on the settlement are unbiased and very informative.

  • Wayne Herrod says:

    Has anyone heard of when they might pay the settlement???

    • Taishi says:

      Merck should treat the Canadians like U.S. cizitens, we are all human being, Canadians are NOT Mice and Merck before getting permission from drug administration not suppose to bringThe vioxx to the market and kill and damage thousands of people.When they selling 10 Billion dollars per year penalty of 950.million dollars is a peanutFor the company and they repeat for other products.Government of Canada and Justice Department should eliminate the entire product fromThis company for Canada, they are careless and using our people like a mouse.Company should pay the same amount that paid to U.S. Citizen to Canadian who Died or suffer from this product.Our lawyer should defend our position and show their clients that they working verySeriously for them.Do not bring and use Merck products in this country to give them a lesson for futures.Kordlouie Mostafa

  • Gene says:

    Update as on June 24. All appeals were resolved by judges as at June 11. Putting together final allocation to present to judge for final approval. Payments will be handled “expeditiously” after that.

  • Jenn says:

    Are there any updates? I can’t understand why it is taking so long…

  • Ann says:

    Are there any updates on the status of this settlement. No postings since my last in early April.

  • Richard D says:

    Just wondering if anyone has an answer to Ann’s question: Just wondered if the Judge’s ruling ends any further appeal?

  • Richard D says:

    Well does anyone have the answer to Ann’s question,are there any appeals of the appeals?

  • Ann says:

    For your info, I was told 26 appeals before the Judge as of Mar 31, 2014 and they were expecting an answer soon. Just wondered if the Judge’s ruling ends any further appeal?

    • Jenn says:

      Ann, that is the exact same thing they told my husband on February 19th. No one seems to be in any rush. Four heart attacks later and he has no income, we sure would appreciate it if they would speed it up.

    • Khomsiin says:

      Hi MurrayWe have finished our first draft of our letetr of protest. We will wait until the 13th to see if our lawyer replies to our e-mail inquiry about protesting the settlement. We doubt we will get a response.We will then send a copy of the letetr to the hearings notice administrator NPT RicePoint Class Action Services. We will also send a copy of the letetr to our MP and likely both opposition parties. This settlement is a travesty.Those who oppose the settlement should make as much noise as possible. Shame on Merck and shame on our toothless legal system.We would be willing to post our letetr, with identifiable information removed, as an example for others and to show just what we feel Vioxx has done to our lives.

  • Ann says:

    Any new developments in this settlement? Do you know what Court is reviewing disputed assessments? It seems to be taking an extreme amount of time to review the number of appeals.

    • Christian says:

      Brigette, Aneurysm is not included in the Vioxx setetlment so a claim can not be made for that. The person must be using Vioxx at or just before a heart attack or stroke to qualify for compensation. If your brother had paperwork related to a possible Vioxx claim maybe he did have a heart attack or stroke earlier when he was using the drug. You may know this or you may have to investigate his health history and see if the paperwork related to Vioxx may have more details or information about him contacting a lawyer earlier.

  • Richard D says:

    How close are we now???

    • Raj says:

      I think this is a slap in the face for all Canadians.Merck is basically saynig that Canadians are only worth 1/10th of what Americans are worth.I am self employed and because of my heart problems my business has dropped 40% in 7 seven years because I do not have the stamina I used to have so therefor am not able to perform as I once could.This is on top of all the other physical problems that go along with heart surgery.I think the settlement should be inline with the Americans in every aspect.But as usual the nice CANADIANS get the short end of the stick.I Would like to ask Merck for a kiss as I like to be kissed when I get screwed!

  • Wayne Herrod says:

    have you any up dates?

    • Matt says:

      Brenda, the American system foecrd Merck to settle in the US much sooner while the case against them looked much stronger. That is why US residents who qualified were paid more. The Canadian system and the fight for control of the class action together with numerous appeals by Merck delayed the case until after the Australian case was won by Merck. They then were able to get a cheaper settlement in Canada. There is no compensation at all for loss of income in the Canadian Vioxx settlement.

  • Richard D Lalonde says:

    Is there any Bextra update to post yet ?

    • Abdellah says:

      Who do we specifically write to, to complain about this? There is no way I am going to let my Dad die an early death due to the subsequent heart failure that effects nearly all heart attack survivors. There is no way he should have had a heart attack in his early 40s. Now his health is nowhere near it should be.I am going to fight this. Do you have an address? I want this to go before the courts. My Dad’s voice should be heard. I am tired of Canadians laying down.

  • jim says:

    I was denied (in French!) and it took 2 months to get it changed to English (just saying I did not qualify), now waiting my appeal (I meet every criteria).

    • Tanny says:

      I think this is a slap in the face for all Canadians.Merck is basically saynig that Canadians are only worth 1/10th of what Americans are worth.I am self employed and because of my heart problems my business has dropped 40% in 7 seven years because I do not have the stamina I used to have so therefor am not able to perform as I once could.This is on top of all the other physical problems that go along with heart surgery.I think the settlement should be inline with the Americans in every aspect.But as usual the nice CANADIANS get the short end of the stick.I Would like to ask Merck for a kiss as I like to be kissed when I get screwed!

  • Jenn says:

    My husband just spoke with someone at Collectiva. there is one last batch of 20 appeals that are with the judge now for ruling. Once those results are in, payments will be made.

    • Mariam says:

      I lost my Dad in 2007 after he suffered his senocd heart attack because of his long term use of Vioxx. He left a loving wife, 3 children and 6 young grandchildren who he will never see grow up .no hugs, no holidays, no birthdays, no sports, no graduations, no weddings. They will never know his strength and love, and he’ll never experience their love and playfulness. No amount of money will compare to his presence and love for our family, and as time goes on, it’s disgusting to think that my Mom will be receiving such little compensation from this settlement. The families of all loved one’s who were taken from us because of Vioxx deserve more.

  • Jenny says:

    What is the process for payment – will there be more forms to fill out, or will they simply mail a cheque?

    • Eva says:

      There is no settlement of the Vioxx claims for Australia; the Federal Court dismissed the claims in May and nobody with a claim will be paid. The court found no liability on Merck and the case is now over. This was a leading consideration in the Canadian settlement when the trial judge after a very lengthy trial dismissed the claims. Now that the decision is upheld it is final.

  • Rebecca says:

    Any new developments? The last notice that I received was to expect the settlement in “late spring 2013”!

    • admin says:

      We believe we are close to payment of the Celebrex and Bextra claims and it could happen at any time. All of our clients’ claims have been assessed so we do know the amounts that will be paid. We will post an update when the first funds are received.

  • Ann says:

    I followed up with Collectiva in early October. Matters are still before the Courts and payments are not expected before the end of this year.

  • Corrina says:

    I am happy that those of you have taken the meds have survived, unfortunately my dad wasn’t lucky that way, truly the silent minority. I hope this gets paid out soon, doesn’t replace his life but definitely deserved to his estate.

  • Ann says:

    Have you received any payments for your clients on the Celebrex settlement yet? I received approval for my claim in February.

    • Jim Pendergast says:

      I have not received approval for my claim yet

      • Adara says:

        Hi Murray.Was wondering what was happening with the Vioxx settlement approval, it has been pushed back from soon in January, to late spring early summer and now it is summer 2012.Is there any word on opposition to the settlement?I really can’t blame people for being upset and opposing the proposed settlement. What really floored me was when I read a news article that claimed the class action lead lawyer praised Merck for settling. First thought was whose side is he on. Second thought was what a slap in the face for those excluded from the settlement.Not blaming you Murray, you have been the most informative person on the class action and your comments on the settlement are unbiased and very informative.

    • admin says:

      We have not received any recent approvals or other responses to outstanding claims and no payment has been received on any claim yet.

      • Ann says:

        For your information, I called Collectiva on July 15th and they are still submitting appeals to the Judge for determination. No monies will be paid until all appeals have been reviewed by the Judge and a Decision rendered. There was no indication of how many claims are being appealed. I heard the word “year” which is very frustrating.

        • admin says:

          Thanks Ann for that information. Not only are there appeals to be heard but some Celebrex and Bextra claims still are not assessed yet and more appeals after that are possible too. Nobody will be paid anything until all claims are fully determined. We will have to keep waiting for quite a while.

          • Jenny says:

            any update since July? My husband’s claim was approved back in March – what do you think is the likelihood we will see anything before end of year?

      • Lien says:

        Very disappointed in not having my mother included in the settlement. She had a heart attack while on Vioxx and sent you medical proof that she did and yet you send a letter saying she didn’t have the kind of heart attack that was needed to be included in the settlement yet right there in writing it has the EXACT type of heart attack she had. Very disappointed. Think you guys/gals did a poor job for not fighting for everybody.

    • Levis says:

      I’ve waited 8 years for noihntg. I still suffer with heart problems almost daily, Been in and out of the hospital several times, and now I am not qualified to get compensation under the current Vioxx claim settlement. Some one should be ashamed. I was first told I had a heart attack. It sure felt like it but it turned out to be Angina. Kevin

  • jim pendergast says:

    i too am awaiting feedback/confirmation back from celebrex/bextra claim, I had an MI and took both and sent everything in to collectiva and it has been passed on.
    Jim

    • Rahul says:

      Brigette, Aneurysm is not included in the Vioxx seetltment so a claim can not be made for that. The person must be using Vioxx at or just before a heart attack or stroke to qualify for compensation. If your brother had paperwork related to a possible Vioxx claim maybe he did have a heart attack or stroke earlier when he was using the drug. You may know this or you may have to investigate his health history and see if the paperwork related to Vioxx may have more details or information about him contacting a lawyer earlier.

  • Ann says:

    I am awaiting payment under the Bextra Celebrex settlement. I had a heart attack and as with the previous poster pay high travel insurance premiums and worry about my future health. I was told Collectiva is reviewing 3000 claims and not all Notices of Determination have been mailed. There was no indication of claims being paid any time soon. Just wondering if you have any further information. Would like to receive this payment during my lifetime!!

    • admin says:

      We are told there are 300 not 3000 claims for Celebrex and Bextra combined. We have had assessments for most of our clients but not seen any payments yet. We have heard very little lately and the assessments we got back were clear cases that were assessed months ago. Hopefully the Vioxx assessment of claims will be quicker but there will be more claims filed so it may be slower.

      • Ety says:

        Who do we specifically write to, to complain about this? There is no way I am going to let my Dad die an early death due to the subsequent heart failure that effects nearly all heart attack survivors. There is no way he should have had a heart attack in his early 40s. Now his health is nowhere near it should be.I am going to fight this. Do you have an address? I want this to go before the courts. My Dad’s voice should be heard. I am tired of Canadians laying down.

  • Herb says:

    I was just reading your article about the low number of claims (200) from Celebrex and Bextra users and wanted to mention that I’m one of the likely many people out there that had a TIA while on Bextra and life just went on after. I just dealt with paying a lot more for my business life insurance and the paranoia and fear surrounding the incident. I’m just glad my TIA could be – at least in theory – attributed to something specific and that I’m fine since I’ve been off COX 2 inhibitors. Sincerely, “the silent majority”

  • Clair says:

    Could you translate into an expected guess what “some time before Vioxx claims are actually paid” really means? One month one year, two years or more.

    • admin says:

      We are still hoping to see claims start getting paid by the end of this calendar year. Current expectations from the class action lawyers are that people can begin to submit claims in April 2013. There will be 4 months open for claims to be submitted and then they will be assessed after August. If that happens it is likely that payments will be made next Winter.

      • Sara says:

        My life was ruined 8 years ago by Vioxx. Have been on disability CPP since. Lost all opportunity to contribute to my pension for the last 8 years. My wife now supports me and is still working ( she’s 62 years old). I am now 64 and was 56 years old when I had my heart attack. There is no amount of money that can bring back my life. I’m depressed and can hardly muster enough energy to complain. The lawyers make me assemble all the details of my file, and I pay the costs. For what amount, if any, I do not know. If I complain they say we’ll just drop your claim if you don’t like it.When I submitted my claim a few years back the lawyers were accommodating but since the claim is now getting closer to payout they are being rude and difficult to deal with.Why? Do they get to keep more of the payout if they have less clients who qualify? I’m struggling each day to stay alive and see this through. I read that the American settlement was larger than the Canadian as their clients get reimbursed for their hospital costs. Then I see in the details of the Canadian settlement that the health care providers share in the settlement in Canada. Why then was our settlement no comparable to the American one?

    • Chichi says:

      I lost my Dad in 2007 after he suffered his second heart attack because of his long term use of Vioxx. He left a loving wife, 3 children and 6 young grandchildren who he will never see grow up .no hugs, no holidays, no birthdays, no sports, no graduations, no weddings. They will never know his strength and love, and he’ll never experience their love and playfulness. No amount of money will compare to his presence and love for our family, and as time goes on, it’s disgusting to think that my Mom will be receiving such little compensation from this settlement. The families of all loved one’s who were taken from us because of Vioxx deserve more.

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