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Merck hid negative trial results from FDA, reveals former Merck research scientist in Vioxx trial

Thursday, June 29, 2006 by: NewsTarget
Tags: health news, Natural News, nutrition


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(NewsTarget) -- The former head of Merck & Co.'s research labs testified in a California Vioxx trial that the drug company failed to inform the FDA of two studies showing that Vioxx users were more likely to die than patients given a placebo.

Dr. Edward Scolnick testified in a videotaped deposition that he did not believe the results of the trials were "due to chance." He also testified that people who took Vioxx had a death rate four times higher than those not taking the drugs in one of the 2001 trials, and 2.5 times higher in the second trial.

Stolnick said Merck did not turn the trial results over to the FDA when company officials met with the agency that April.

Stewart Grossberg, the 71-year-old California plaintiff in the trial, claims that Merck marketed Vioxx without warning of its potential dangers, which led to his 2001 heart attack while taking the drug. Grossberg's lawsuit is one of more than 13,000 nationwide suits against Merck.

Vioxx entered the market in 1999 to treat arthritis pain, and Merck pulled the drug from the market in 2004 after research surfaced showing that the drug doubled the risk of heart attack and stroke when used for long periods. An FDA drug decision panel re-approved the drug for sale to the public. It was later revealed that the majority of the FDA decision makers on that panel maintained undisclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Merck.

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