Why am I mad at Merck over Vioxx?

Written by Michael Monheit, Esquire, Monheit Law, PC

Continued from page 1

Kaiser Permanente,repparttar largest HMO inrepparttar 119247 United States, foundrepparttar 119248 incidence of sudden cardiac death to be three times greater for VIOXX than Celebrex among its patients.

Cigna Health Care regarded VIOXX as a “non-preferred medication” for its policy holders.

Aetna, Inc.,repparttar 119249 third largest health insurer inrepparttar 119250 United States, announced that VIOXX wasrepparttar 119251 subject of an ongoing study and recommended “alternative drugs” be prescribed in its place.

Every study ever conducted with respect to VIOXX between 1999 and 2004 showed an increased risk of heart attack.

Several medical research organizations considerrepparttar 119252 entire COX-2 class of drugs to have an increased cardiac-related risk (although it appears that Celebrex may have a lower risk in this area).

A study done at Vanderbilt University, and published in The Lancet on October 5, 2002, noted that patients taking 50mg. of VIOXX for more than 5 days demonstrated a 70% greater likelihood of developing coronary heart disease (CHD).

Despite requests fromrepparttar 119253 American Heart Association,repparttar 119254 National Stroke Association, andrepparttar 119255 Arthritis Foundation that Merck conduct additional safety studies, Merck claimed that VIOXX was safe and that it did not plan to conduct any such study.

An early 2004 study, which was actually funded by Merck, disclosed that VIOXX posed a risk of heart attack and stroke which was three times greater than that of other COX-2 pain relievers. Shamefully, when this finding was made, Merck hadrepparttar 119256 name of its scientist removed fromrepparttar 119257 list of authors onrepparttar 119258 study.

Now, back torepparttar 119259 FDA and how bad an actor Merck really is... On September 8, 2004,repparttar 119260 FDA actually approvedrepparttar 119261 use of VIOXX inrepparttar 119262 treatment of infants as young as 2 with rheumatoid arthritis. To say that this request by Merck was anything less than an unconscionable display of corporate greed is an understatement. Next, Merck’s greed was its own undoing. Although Merck is attempting to makerepparttar 119263 best out of a very bad situation by making it appear as if its voluntary withdrawal of VIOXX was motivated by concern forrepparttar 119264 public,repparttar 119265 evidence does not support that position. There is little doubt thatrepparttar 119266 removal of VIOXX fromrepparttar 119267 market was anything but a purely financial consideration onrepparttar 119268 part of Merck which stands to lose $700 to $750 million inrepparttar 119269 fourth quarter of 2004 alone. The lawsuits are piling up and some will be proceeding to trial shortly. And Merck is not acting out of an interest in public safety, but only to protect shareholder value. Consider this before concluding that Merck was thinking about safety and not dollars:

The study (APPROVe trial) which led to Merck’s decision to voluntarily withdraw VIOXX fromrepparttar 119270 market was really aimed at gaining FDA approval for VIOXX as a treatment for preventingrepparttar 119271 recurrence of colon polyps. (APPROVe stands for Adenomatous Polyp Prevention on VIOXX which clearly showsrepparttar 119272 study had nothing to do with safety and everything to do with gaining approval fromrepparttar 119273 FDA for even wider use of VIOXX). In Merck’s open letter to “VIOXX Patients,” which has appeared in newspapers acrossrepparttar 119274 country, Merck claims thatrepparttar 119275 study was “a clinical trial to better understandrepparttar 119276 safety profile of VIOXX.” It was no such thing. In fact, hadrepparttar 119277 3-year study not been halted abruptly on September 24 byrepparttar 119278 Data Safety Monitoring Board for safety reasons, VIOXX would still be onrepparttar 119279 market.

Merck has already developed a new COX-2 pain reliever called ARCOXIA which is presently being marketed in 47 countries and for which Merck expected FDA approval inrepparttar 119280 near future. While ARCOXIA is not yet a billion dollar drug and must gain approval in 33 more countries to equalrepparttar 119281 worldwide market enjoyed by VIOXX, it is clear that VIOXX was well onrepparttar 119282 way to being replaced when it was pulled fromrepparttar 119283 market. Clearly, safety was, at best, a distant second when it came to a reason for Merck’s voluntary withdrawal of VIOXX.

Finally, even though VIOXX was finally exposed for what it was; a dangerous drug, Merck stated in its press release thatrepparttar 119284 drug was being withdrawn despite Merck’s belief that “it would have been possible to continue to market VIOXX with labeling that would incorporate these new data…” Bull. Merck would still have kept VIOXX onrepparttar 119285 market had it not met withrepparttar 119286 FDA on September 28 and been forced to confrontrepparttar 119287 disastrous results of its own study.

So this is 3+ years ago that Merck had reason to know, let alone reason to explore this issue. They chose not to. Again, you know why I think that they made that choice. And having seen this before, in addition to this clear failure of Merck to study this earlier,repparttar 119288 adverse reports that Merck received in between will, I believe, spell out more than a simple mistake, but at leastrepparttar 119289 inference of an intent to simply make money atrepparttar 119290 expense of patient safety.

Michael Monheit, Esquire is the managing attorney for Monheit Law. The practice is focuses on plaintiff personal injury cases and Vioxx Lawyers info can be found at Vioxx Lawyer - Monheit Law

Glossary of Truck Related Terms

Written by Michael Monheit, Esquire, Monheit Law, PC

Continued from page 1

Jackknife To placerepparttar trailer at a very sharp angle torepparttar 119246 tractor; one ofrepparttar 119247 major causes of truck accidents

Kingpin (axle) Pin around which a steer axle's wheels pivot

Kingpin (trailer) Anchor pin atrepparttar 119248 center of a semi-trailer's upper coupler which is captured byrepparttar 119249 locking jaws of a tractor's fifth wheel to attachrepparttar 119250 tractor torepparttar 119251 semi-trailer.

Logbook Book carried by truck drivers in which they record their hours of service and duty status for each 24-hour period. Required in interstate commercial trucking byrepparttar 119252 U.S. Department of Transportation

Owner-Operator Trucker who owns and operates his own truck(s)

Payload Weight ofrepparttar 119253 cargo being hauled

PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) In trucking, unit of measurement for tire air pressure, air brake system pressure, and turbocharger boost. The correct PSI is crucial to braking; inability to brake is a major cause of truck accidents.

Runaway Truck Ramp Emergency area adjacent to a steep downgrade that a heavy truck can steer into after losing braking power. Usually two or three lanes wide and several hundred feet long,repparttar 119254 ramp is a soft, gravel-filled pathway which absorbsrepparttar 119255 truck's forward momentum, brings it to a safe stop. Depending onrepparttar 119256 surrounding terrain,repparttar 119257 ramp may be level or run up or down hill.

Semi trailer Truck trailer supported atrepparttar 119258 rear by its own wheels and atrepparttar 119259 front by a fifth wheel mounted to a tractor or dolly.

Tractor Truck designed primarily to pull a semi trailer by means of a fifth wheel mounted overrepparttar 119260 rear axle(s); sometimes called a truck tractor or highway tractor to differentiate from it from a farm tractor.

Tractor Trailer Tractor and semi trailer combination

Trip Recorder (On-Board Computer) Cab-mounted device which electronically or mechanically records data such as truck speed, engine rpm, idle time, and other information useful to trucking management and truck accident attorneys

Truck Vehicle which carries cargo in a body mounted to its chassis, rather than on a trailer towed byrepparttar 119261 vehicle.

Michael Monheit, Esquire is the managing attorney for Monheit Law, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Monheit Law, P.C. concentrates its practice in the field of plaintiff personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. They can be found at http://www.monheit.com/truck/

    <Back to Page 1
ImproveHomeLife.com © 2005
Terms of Use