Vioxx: The Downfall of a Drug
November 10, 2007 Five years after Vioxx's launch in 1999, Merck withdrew the drug from the market. By that time, Merck had sold billions of dollars worth of the painkiller worldwide.
November 9, 2007 Merck pulled Vioxx off the market in September 2004 after it was revealed that the drug increased the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Here, a look at what has happened since Vioxx was taken off the market.
November 9, 2007 Merck's conditions for its $4.85 billion Vioxx settlement agreement, which is open only to those cases filed or tolled on or before Nov. 8, 2007.
November 9, 2007 Pharmaceutical giant Merck will pay $4.85 billion to end thousands of lawsuits over its painkiller Vioxx. The amount, to be paid into a settlement fund, is believed to be the largest drug settlement ever. Claims must meet certain criteria to qualify for payment as the settlement is not a class action.
August 17, 2006 Merck suffered two major setbacks in the product liability litigation over its painkiller, Vioxx: a $51 million award to a retired FBI agent who suffered a heart attack after taking the drug, and a decision to throw out a 2005 verdict that had favored Merck, with a retrial ordered for January.
June 8, 2006 To learn more about data safety monitoring boards and their role in protecting patients who participate in drug studies, NPR turned to statistician David DeMets. He says the current watchdog system for patient safety is a good one, but there are practical limits on the extent to which drugs can be monitored.
June 8, 2006 Merck pulled its painkiller Vioxx from the market in 2004 after a study showed the drug caused heart problems, strokes and death. But documents obtained by NPR reveal that early results from a 1999 study showed similar problems. Yet Merck didn't stop that study and tell the public.
May 18, 2006 New data obtained by NPR about the painkiller Vioxx show that all patients who took the drug were at increased risk for heart attack, stroke and other complications — even those who took it for short periods of time. About 20 million Americans are estimated to have taken Vioxx before it was withdrawn in 2004.