Timeline of Merck's failure to act on removing Vioxx from the marketWritten by Michael Monheit, Esquire, Monheit Law, PC
Based on an article by THE NEW YORK TIMES, by Alex Berenson, Gardiner Harris, Barry Meier and Andrew Pollack, "In May 2000, executives at Merck, pharmaceutical giant under siege for its handling of multibillion-dollar drug Vioxx, made a fateful decision." The article shows following timeline of Merck failures to recall Vioxx:
1998: Vioxx put on market amid controversy over safety of Cox-2 drugs. January 1999: A study of 8,100 rheumatoid arthritis patients begun in January 1999. February 2001: FDA members expressed concerns about heart risks of Vioxx and doctors on FDA panel argued that drug's possible harm to heart was a real problem. FDA panel felt that more studies should be done. March 2000: Clinical trial suggested heart risk concerns. In study, called Vigor, patients were treated with either Vioxx or naproxen, an older pain reliever. While Vioxx reduced risk of internal bleeding, it also appeared to raise incidence of heart problems. Five times as many patients taking Vioxx had heart attacks as those taking naproxen. March 2000: Company executives were told about preliminary results from Vigor trials that showed increased cardiovascular risk and were "open to possibility that Vioxx was at fault." April 2000: Merck plays down heart risk findings, with no basis that has ever been defined by Merck as to why it ignored findings. Spring 2000: Merck researchers reviewed safety data from a study of Vioxx and was unable to find that Vioxx posed a risk. "But Merck never ran a clinical trial seeking to scientifically establish heart-protecting properties of naproxen or to quantify how powerful an effect might be. In recent interviews, company officials said they did not believe there was a reason to conduct such tests because critical issue was not proving naproxen's benefits but determining if Vioxx posed a risk." May 2000: Merck marketing executives considered whether to directly test Vioxx for heart risk. May 2000: Marck's policy-making group met to discuss ways to defend Vioxx against competing drug makers' accusations that it posed cardiac risks. A cardiovascular risk study was considered. May 2000: Merck's marketing executives opposed further cardiac study. June 2000: Merck executives rejected pursuing a study focused on Vioxx's cardiovascular risks. Study would require as many as 50,000 patients. Merck worried that this study would hurt its marketing. Marketing of Vioxx was primary concern for Merck. Many scientists (from academic community, not from Merck) repeatedly asked Merck to perform studies of cardiovascular risks from Vioxx. For following years, Merck took position that "Vioxx was safe unless proved otherwise." During this time, "researchers fiercely debated how question should be pursued, and some even now question whether drug needed to be withdrawn."
DO YOU BUY HIGH AND SELL LOW?Written by Mark B. Replogle
Then you qualify to hire an investment attorney. Why should I hire an investment attorney, you ask? Good question. The simple answer is that they are best qualified to find and analyze real estate deals and unusual investments.
As you know, goal of any investment is to buy low and sell high. However, for various reasons many people don’t follow this simple plan. If this describes you, then all you have to do to change is to make a commitment today, and start again.
REAL ESTATE – more people have become millionaires through investing in real estate than through any other investment. Real estate can be bought normal way, or through probate (two ways to do this), and through tax liens or tax certificates. Everyone is familiar with first way to buy real estate so I won’t discuss it any further.
Real estate can be bought from probate estates in two ways. One is at auction and other is before it goes to auction. Any and all kinds of real estate are sold every year in probate. Homes, commercial and industrial properties, as well as vacant land. Generally speaking, properties sold at auction tend to be sold at or above market price. Which means this is not kind of deal you want to invest in.
So goal is to buy properties in probate before they go up to auction. However, that is hard part. Every state has their own rules of procedure and laws that govern such sales. Plus, general real estate laws are different in every state. Further, there is no such thing as a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for probate properties. Which means that attorney spends a good amount of time to locate properties for his client.
It is common for investors to make a 25 to 40 percent return on their investment using this method. However, past performance is no guarantee of future performance.
Tax liens and tax certificates are two ways that various states may sell real estate if their local, county, and or state taxes are not paid. Again, every state’s rules are going to be different on how such sales are conducted. For example, amount of time that owner has to redeem (buy back) his property will vary. As well as amount of interest each state pays investor for his money that went towards paying back taxes.
So while a client can indeed place an “order” with his investment attorney for a property that he would like to buy, it does take time to locate properties, attend auctions, work through any legal issues affecting title, and ejecting any tenants that have no right to be in home any longer.