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Score One For Merck In The Vioxx Trials

Merck may not be settling some of those 6,500 lawsuits pending in the courts after all, considering a New Jersey jury ruled the drugmaker properly warned consumers about its toxic and, so far, banned painkiller to end the second Vioxx trial this morning.

It took less than eight hours over three days for jurors to find the mega-pharmaceutical was innocent of deliberately failing to warn patients and doctors about Vioxx's risks and mounting phony marketing campaigns to cover them up.

Perhaps, the killing blow: Merck lawyers successfully connected the cause of plaintiff Frederick Humeston's heart attack -- in the minds of the jurors -- on stress from an ongoing dispute with his employers (the U.S. Postal Service) over fraud charges, not Vioxx.

With appalling rulings like this one, it's no wonder potentially toxic drugs like muraglitazar (Pargulva) can be developed by the mega-pharamaceuticals and be green-lighted by the FDA with no problem all the time. In other words, more drugs just like Vioxx...

I hope this verdict appalls you as much as it does me, and is a major wakeup call for those who may still believe in fairy tales, Santa Claus and the FDA.

MSNBC November 3, 2005

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