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June 27, 2006

Even Short-term Vioxx Use May Increase Heart Risk

The New England Journal of Medicine has published a correction saying that it does not take 18 months of Vioxx use to increase the risk of heart attacks.  A new interpretation of the study originally published by the journal in March 2005 says that such risk could arise after as few as three months.  Merck & Co., the maker of Vioxx, has defended the claims brought against the company in part by pointing to the orginal study conclusions that there is no heart risk from short-term use.  In the six cases tried thus far, juries have returned verdicts for Merck three times.  Despite the journal's corrected interpretation of study results, Merck says it stands behind the original study and will defend each Vioxx suit.   However, this news must favor plaintiffs in Vioxx litigation.  Two Vioxx trials are presently underway in Los Angeles and Atlantic City.  See Diedtra Henderson's story in the Boston Globe.

JDP

June 27, 2006 | Permalink

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