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Location: Houston, Texas, United States

My name is David Stone. I live in Houston, Texas. I am a 30-something single white male. I am an Orthodox Christian and am a member of an English-language parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR).

Sunday, October 02, 2005

The Waiting Game

Here is a link to an editorial on the ongoing Vioxx litigation. This editorial points out one detail that may have been missed by some.

It refers to internal documents indicating that Merck decided to wait on adding a warning label to Vioxx in order not to hurt their sales.

As the editorial states:

"Documents revealed in the Vioxx trial show that Merck was aware of the cardiac risks of Vioxx as early as 1997. The company’s top scientist stated in March 2000 that a clinical trial of Vioxx confirmed that the drug had heart risks. In fact, this clinical trial showed that the drug caused five times as many heart attacks as another pain relief drug. Merck executives ignored an FDA request to add a warning label to Vioxx for four months, because they calculated they could make an extra $229 million by waiting."

The editorial also points out that the punitive damages awarded by the jury in the first Vioxx trial in Texas was directly related to this calculated sales figure.

"The headline-grabbing $229 million punitive damage award decided on by the jury was not chosen at random, but represented the exact amount of money Merck made by delaying changes to the drug’s warning label."

This detail may put the actions of the Texas jury (all but two of whom were Republicans) in a new light for some.


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