Vioxx, or rofecoxib, was voluntarily withdrawn from the market by its manufacturer, Merck, on September 30th, 2004. Vioxx is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that causes less stomach irritation than other NSAIDs. It was originally intended as a simple pain reliever, prescribed most often for arthritis, but has been found to double or even triple the risk of heart attack and stroke.
The problems were found during a study of 2,600 patients intended to prove whether the drug could decrease the risk of recurrence of colon polyps. Originally intended to last three years, the so-called Approve trial was halted after 18 months, when it became clear that the cardiovascular risk to the patients was too great to continue. During the study, 15 heart attacks, strokes, or blood clots occurred per thousand people per year.
This was not the first study to indicate an increased risk of heart attack and stroke with Vioxx; a study by Merck in June of 2000 first found these serious side effects. Based on this and other reports, the FDA sent Merck a letter in 2001 warning that their labeling understated the drug’s heart problems, and forced Merck to relabel the drug in April 2002. Another study by the FDA in August of this year reinforced the dangers of heart attack and stroke with Vioxx. Between the first study in 2000 and the drug’s recall in 2004, as many as 28,000 heart attacks or deaths may have been caused by Vioxx, according to an FDA study.
Taken by 84 million people since 1999 and currently used by 2 million people worldwide, Vioxx was a $3 billion drug for Merck. It accounted for 12% of the company’s revenue.
If a loved one has died from taking Vioxx, you may have a case for a lawsuit. Contact Williams Kherkher today.
No attorney’s fees, court costs, or expenses, except for unpaid medical bills, unless you recover.
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- Lessons from the withdrawal of rofecoxib
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- Merck announces voluntary worldwide withdrawal of VIOXX
- FDA Issues Public Health Advisory on Vioxx as its Manufacturer Voluntarily Withdraws the Product
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If you or a loved one suffered a stroke or heart attack while taking Vioxx, our attorneys are ready to help you with your lawsuit. Thousands of law firms will be involved in the effort to get justice for the many victims of Vioxx – don’t trust your case to just any lawyer. We have the resources needed to represent you in a lawsuit against Merck.