On September 30, 2004, the drug company Merck announced
the removal of Vioxx from the world market. It was the largest
drug recall in history and the announcement
made worldwide headlines.
The first signs of problems with Vioxx, however, were noticed
several years ago. A University of Pennslyvannia study published
before final FDA approval, raised questions
about whether Vioxx increased the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Additional studies, including one published in JAMA (the Journal
of American Medical Association) demonstrated serious Vioxx side
effects, including heart attacks and stroke.
The British medical journal The Lancet published a
study that concluded Merck and federal officials should have withdrawn the
painkiller Vioxx from the market as early as 2000 because studies of the drug
had clearly shown that it doubled the risk of heart attacks among users.
Merck is offering to reimburse patients for their out-of-pocket cost for
unused Vioxx. You can return the pills at your pharmacy or call the National
Notification Center at 1-800-805-9542 for a return package.
To find out more information about how the Vioxx recall effects you
and your family, submit the form on the right to see if you have a case.
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