The controversy over Merck's ( MRK) recall of Vioxx was threatening to flare again Monday with a leading medical critic saying he planned to publish data indicating that the pain drug killed or injured more than 100,000 people in the U.S.

Food and Drug Administration researcher Dr. David Graham is reportedly ready to publish research that suggests up to 139,000 Americans have died or have been seriously injured as a result of taking the drug.

The research would be published in The Lancelet, a leading British medical journal, according to a Monday report in the Financial Times

The estimate is not new, but its publication in a top journal might give it more credence.

Graham was a key witness last year in congressional hearings looking into Merck's recall of the drug, a development that has rocked the once mighty drugmaker. In August, Graham put the death-and-injury toll at 28,000 Americans.

Merck's share price lost about 25% of its value after it withdrew the drug Sept. 30 and it now faces dozens of lawsuits.

Merck shares were down 36 cents, or 1.2%, to $31.86 in the premarket.