Timeline: The Rise and Fall of Vioxx 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.
NPR logo Timeline: The Rise and Fall of Vioxx

Timeline: The Rise and Fall of Vioxx

Merck voluntarily withdrew Vioxx from the market in 2004. Research published in the medical journal Lancet estimates that 88,000 Americans had heart attacks from taking Vioxx, and 38,000 of them died. Brendan McDermid/EPA/Corbis hide caption

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Brendan McDermid/EPA/Corbis