Study: Vioxx poses even short-term risks

May 03, 2006

A Montreal study raises questions about even short-term use of the pain drug Vioxx and may harm Merck & Co.'s defense against 11,500 lawsuits, a report said.

The study, published Tuesday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, said people 65 and older are at the greatest risk of suffering a heart attack within 6-13 days of their first ingestion of Vioxx.

The McGill University study also found elderly patients' heart attack risk did not increase the longer they took the drug, which Merck pulled off the world market in 2004.

A key element of Merck's defense has been that it took 18 months or longer for the heart attack risk to increase, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Reacting to the study, Merck said its strategy was unchanged "and we continue to believe those (short-term) cases have no merit," said lawyer Ted Mayer.

However, plaintiffs' lawyer Andy Birchfield said the study "strengthens our hand tremendously."

"From the very beginning, we have said it doesn't take 18 months," Birchfield said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Greenland darkening to continue, predicts CCNY expert Marco Tedesco

Related Stories

European physicist discusses Higgs boson at Brown University

5 hours ago

The head of the European Organization for Nuclear Research says the historic 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson particle and the particle accelerator that detected it are getting scientists closer to understanding the creation ...

IBM earnings dip as sales fall again

5 hours ago

Technology heavyweight IBM reported Monday lower profits in the first quarter following another drop in revenues, this time partly due to the strong dollar.

Recommended for you

UK doctors unlikely to be able to repay student loans

4 hours ago

UK doctors are unlikely to be able to repay their student loans over the course of their working lives, amassing debts of more than £80,000 by the time they graduate, in some cases, finds research published in the online ...

A bad buzz: Men with HIV need fewer drinks to feel effects

5 hours ago

Researchers at Yale and the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System compared the number of drinks that men with HIV infection, versus those without it, needed to get a buzz. They found that HIV-infected men were more sensitive to ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.