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Split Decision in Latest Vioxx Trials

How long a patient used Vioxx may become the legal litmus test among state and federal juries making decisions on the health-harming effect of the still-banned COX-2 inhibitor in some 9,600 lawsuits (and counting) in the U.S. court system.

A New Jersey state court awarded John McDarby and his wife $4.5 million, but Thomas Cona only $45. Why the huge difference? McDarby took Vioxx for four years before suffering a heart attack that resulted also in a broken hip, leaving him wheelchair-bound.

On the other hand, Cona claimed he used Vioxx for nearly two years, but his medical records showed the duration to be only seven months. Here's the rub: Cona says he used free samples to fill out the remainder of his two years on Vioxx.

One of the very few benefits of these court proceedings: More people are getting a first-hand look at the greed on display by the mega-pharmaceuticals that hastily rush toxic drugs like Vioxx to market solely to fatten their pocketbooks at the expense of your health.

MSNBC April 6, 2006

Washington Post April 6, 2006

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