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Vioxx Information

What is Vioxx?

UPDATE: January 2008: More Than 55,000 People Register for Merck's Vioxx Settlement Program

Vioxx® is the name under which Merck markets a prescription pain medication generically called rofecoxib. Vioxx has been under much scrutiny of late because several studies and drug trials have shown adverse reactions with Vioxx such as heart attack, stroke, and sudden cardiac death. In September 2004, Merck voluntarily withdrew Vioxx from the market.

Vioxx Trial Verdicts in New Jersey and Texas
In the McDarby case, a New Jersey state court jury awarded the plaintiffs $4.5 million on April 5, 2006 after deciding that Merck failed to warn John McDarby and his wife of Vioxx's cardiovascular risks, and that Merck committed consumer fraud in its marketing of Vioxx. On April 5, 2006 the same New Jersey jury found for Merck in the Cona case. After the trial there was some speculation among observers that the jury did not believe that Thomas Cona, age 60, had a sufficient drug supply so as to take Vioxx on a daily basis for 22 months, as alleged in his case. In the Garza case, on April 21, 2006 a Texas state court jury awarded $7 million in compensatory damages for mental anguish and personal loss, and $25 million in punitive damages to the family of a 71-year-old man who suffered a fatal heart attack in 2001 after taking Vioxx for less than a month.

Merck & Co. Finally Wins Its First Federal Court Vioxx Trial
On February 17, 2006, after deliberating for just over three hours, a federal jury in New Orleans gave Merck & Co. a defense verdict in the first federal court Vioxx trial, Irvin / Plunkett v. Merck. The first trial of this Vioxx lawsuit, which took place in Houston due to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, initially ended in a mistrial due to a hung jury in December 2005.

Critical Issue in Vioxx Lawsuits is How Long Vioxx Was Used
Due to the VIGOR study, the amount of time that Vioxx was taken by the patient will be a critical issue in future Vioxx trials. Significantly, none of the 2005 Vioxx trials involved the use of Vioxx for 18 months or more -- commonly referred to as "long-term use" cases in the Vioxx litigation.

Vioxx Lawsuits With Trial Dates in 2006
Several Vioxx lawsuits are scheduled to go to trial in 2006; some of them at the same time in Federal MDL and state courts.  Vioxx manufacturer Merck & Co. could find itself in a situation where they are forced to deploy separate defense counsel teams to different venues and transport its corporate witnesses from courtroom to courtroom.

Vioxx Cases In New Jersey Given February 2006 Trial Date
New Jersey Superior Court Judge Carol Higbee has consolidated the next two Vioxx cases into one trial, which is scheduled to start on February 27, 2006 in Atlantic County, NJ. Lawyers for Merck have voiced the drug company's opposition to trying two Vioxx cases at once and have asked Judge Higbee to abandon the consolidated Vioxx trial plan but to no avail as of January 1, 2006.

Federal Court MDL Vioxx Case Retrial Set For February 2006 in New Orleans
Round Two of the first federal Vioxx trial has been scheduled for February 6, 2006, in New Orleans, by U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon, who is presiding over the Vioxx federal court Multidistrict Litigation, or MDL. The initial trial ended with a "hung jury" in early December 2005.

First Texas Vioxx Trial Results in Jury Verdict For Plaintiff
In August 2005, Merck & Co. lost its first Vioxx trial in a Texas state court after the jury found that Vioxx was responsible for the death of Robert Ernst, and awarded his widow a verdict of $253 million. One juror interviewed said, "[The evidence] told me they knew cardiovascular events were possible on this drug, but they failed to tell us about it."

Vioxx Caused 88,000 to 140,000 Cases of Serious Heart Disease
Dr. David J. Graham Study Published in The Lancet Shows Recent Findings for Adverse Side Effects of Vioxx.

FDA Releases Memo About Vioxx
Vioxx might have caused 27,785 heart attacks and deaths, according to a study conducted by FDA researcher Dr. David J. Graham.

Vioxx Milestones on the Path to Withdrawal: Timeline and Editorial
A look back in history reveals Merck knew about Vioxx safety issues, ignored studies. Timeline of events leading to the Vioxx withdrawal and editorials.

Vioxx Related to Heart Side Effects
Early studies of Vioxx and re-evaluation of those studies show Vioxx doubles the risk of heart attack.

How Vioxx Increases Heart Attack Risk
Researchers have a general idea of how Vioxx could be raising the risk of heart attack, but not whether other Cox-2 inhibitors carry the same risk.

Vioxx Linked to Increased Heart Attack Risk in Merck Funded Study
Merck epidemiologist's name later removed from study which showed increased risk of heart attack with Vioxx when compared to Celebrex or other NSAIDs.

Higher Dose of Vioxx Increases Risk of Serious Heart Problems
FDA Kaiser Permanente Study found that patients taking the highest recommended daily dosage of Vioxx had three times the risk of heart attack and sudden cardiac death as those not taking standard painkillers.

Vioxx Class Actions
Our law firm believes that people injured by Vioxx are better served by having an individual lawsuit filed instead of joining a class action lawsuit.

Vioxx and Legal Compensation
How to get legal compensation for a Vioxx injury or Vioxx death.

Drug Injury Watch: Vioxx News Commentary

See More Articles by Tom Lamb About Vioxx in Drug Injury Watch Article Archives >>>

  • US FDA advises that you should not stop taking any prescription medication before talking to your doctor.
  • Reports of serious drug side effects should be made to the US FDA MedWatch program.
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