Hard to Believe Vioxx May Come Back on the Market

I have been waiting to see the results of the FDA expert panel for one week but yesterday I was on the road and gave my Fort Lauderdale seminar so I was off line most of the day. Early this week Dr. David Graham testified before Congress that various studies showed a range of increased heart attack risk ranging from 400 to as many as some 11,000 additional heart attacks in men ages 65-74 at low doses of Vioxx.

However, I was shocked to find out a panel of experts voted unanimously on yesterday to advise the Food and Drug Administration against banning Vioxx, Celebrex, and Bextra. The F.D.A. is not bound to follow the advice of its panels, but it usually does. Letting the drugs remain on the market, after a thorough review of the clinical data, will help lower Merck litigation costs which previously were estimated to exceed $20 billion dollars.

Seems like I was prematurely elated that Vioxx was marking the beginning of the end of conventional medicine. How could I ever think it would be so easy to keep a drug off the market that had killed over 50,000 people. A drug that in no way shape or form treated any cause, but merely masked symptoms and killed tens of thousands of people.

At this time I have no details of the physicians who were on this "expert" FDA advisory panel, but I would not be surprised to find out that there is massive conflict of interest involved. Please don't be shocked, but massive conflict of interest is a regular event with the FDA.

An example of one of the worst cases I know of would be the approval of aspartame. If you haven't yet watched the Sweet Misery video, I would strongly encourage you to do so as the similarities will be immediately obvious. Nutrasweet was kept off the market for over ten years until Donald Rumsfeld was hired by Searle as their president. He immediately changed the FDA committee members that had voted against aspartame and it was approved. Later the new FDA members quit their jobs to become "consultants" for Searle at over $250,0000 per year salary.

Sometimes thing just don't seem to change much. However, this type of incredible nonsense just can't continue to go on. It is my vision that eventually enough people will wake up and put an end to this type of nonsense.

New York Times February 18, 2005

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