Thursday, December 8, 2005

New England Journal Says Merck Concealed Vioxx Data

Via The New York Times:
Merck misrepresented the results of a crucial clinical trial of Vioxx to play down the drug's heart risks, The New England Journal of Medicine said today.

The Journal's allegation may play a critical role in the thousands of lawsuits that Merck faces over Vioxx, a once-popular painkiller that has been linked to heart attacks and strokes. In the three lawsuits that have reached trial so far, Merck has contended that it promptly disclosed information about Vioxx's heart risks...

In an "Expression of Concern" posted this afternoon on its Web site, The Journal said the authors of the study had deleted data on strokes and other vascular problems suffered by patients in the Vigor trial two days before it submitted the results to the publication.

The authors also underreported the number of heart attacks suffered by patients taking Vioxx, claiming that there were 17 heart attacks when there were actually 20, The Journal said. The authors have been asked to correct the study, The Journal said.
The "Expression of Concern" is here.

Technorati Tags: Merck, Vioxx, New England Journal of Medicine

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