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Monday 24th October 2016

Merck wins another legal victory

17th July 2006

02062006_ibuprofen1.jpgMerck’s withdrawn pain medicine Vioxx was not a substantial factor in the heart attack of a 68-year-old New Jersey woman decided a US jury.

Although Merck failed to warn the plaintiff, Elaine Doherty, about the heart risks of taking Vioxx, The jury decided that it did adequately warn her doctor of such risks; the jury also concluded that Merck did not commit consumer fraud in either its marketing of Vioxx to the plaintiff or the physicians.

An attorney for Merck said that the jury agreed that Mrs. Doherty would have suffered a heart attack whether she was taking Vioxx or not.

Four of seven Vioxx suits that have been decided in court have now been decided in favour of Merck. Merck partially lost the second of two cases to be tried in the company’s home state of New Jersey when a jury found Vioxx had contributed to the heart attack of 77-year-old John McDarby.

Merck voluntarily withdrew Vioxx in September 2004 after finding it increased the risk of heart attacks and strokes in people who used it for 18 months or more.

There have been at least 11,500 Vioxx suits filed against Merck which has said it will fight them one by one.

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