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Merck Pursues Medical Journal Editors For Vioxx Testimonies

Looks like Merck attorneys are going after past and present New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) editors after stinging news last month the drugmaker deleted relevant data before submitting its 2000 Vioxx study, which may have forced a mistrial in the first federal case in Houston.

Merck attorneys are deposing the NEJM editors, based on that December editorial, arguing no material was deleted from what was called the VIGOR study.

Although NEJM attorneys tried to block the motion, U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon approved it in part, allowing Merck to depose the journal's executive editor and a former editor who originally handled the VIGOR study, but not peer reviewers.

The number of Vioxx-related lawsuits has climbed to some 9,200 with the latest one to convene in Rio Grande City, Texas, next month. This showdown will consider the case of a 71-year-old man suffering from heart disease who took Vioxx less than a month before his death.

Houston Chronicle January 25, 2006

MSNBC January 18, 2006

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