A nearly 5 billion-dollar settlement over the withdrawn painkiller Vioxx is on track to move forward.
Merck says more than 44,000 people have signed up to take part in the deal by submitting medical records and other necessary paperwork. That's out of roughly 47,000 people who registered for the settlement earlier this year.
Merck has said it would withdraw from the agreement unless at least 85 percent of people in four different groups join in. The drug company says if all of the submissions are verified, the number would exceed 93 percent in each of the four categories.
One of the lead plaintiffs' lawyers says the enrollment figures show near universal acceptance of the program.
Lawyers for thousands who blamed Vioxx for their heart attacks announced the settlement last November.
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