Merck counts 50,000 Vioxx registrants

The deadline bell has rung. At final count, more than 50,000 Vioxx plaintiffs have registered for the $4.85 billion settlement.

By registering, they're not committing to take the deal, only to submit their info so that Merck lawyers can verify the various claims. Only cases involving patients who had a heart attack or stroke, or who died, are eligible. And only after eligibility is verified will we know whether the deal might go through. Eight-five percent of the plaintiffs have to accept their share of the money pool for Merck to finance the settlement.

- read the update from CNN Money