There’s good news for Vioxx patients. It seems that cardiovascular risks decline when patients stop taking the drug.
Merck continued its 3 year Vioxx study for a 4th year.
Those fourth-year results, as analyzed by Merck and released yesterday, showed that former Vioxx and placebo users reported a nearly similar rate of cardiovascular events. Among 2,178 patients, 28 formerly on Vioxx and 16 formerly on placebo suffered confirmed thrombotic cardiovascular events. An undisclosed number died.
Peter S. Kim, head of West Point-based Merck Research Laboratories, said the 28-to-16 difference is not statistically significant and might be due as much to chance as to the drug itself.
Merck recalled the drug on 9/30/2004 after study data suggested that Vioxx increased risk of heart attack and stroke in people taking it longer than 18 months.
Merck faces at least 11,500 personal injury lawsuits and 190 class action lawsuits. The company is now 50/50, having won 3 and lost 3 trials.
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