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Federal Vioxx Retrial Goes Merck's Way

Unfortunately, the stalemate that ended the first federal trial involving Merck's dangerous Vioxx late last year proved to be no advantage at all for patients and plaintiffs touched by this health-harming anti-inflammatory. A New Orleans jury took less than four hours late Friday to absolve Merck in the heart attack death of a Florida man.

At issue here, according to some legal experts: Richard Irvin's fatal heart attack occurred just a month after he began taking Vioxx, although his health remained generally good. Although this decision could tempt some plaintiffs to give up their legal fight, especially if their use of Vioxx was merely short-term, and hope for a mass legal settlement.

Merck isn't out of the woods, however, as they'll face more formidable plaintiffs later on this year who have taken the COX-2 inhibitor for at least 18 months. To date, the number of Vioxx-related cases has risen to some 9,600.

Just a reminder, there are much safer ways to treat your pain without risking your health on a prescription drug or one sold over the counter.

MSNBC February 17, 2006

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