According to a Bloomberg article, a cardiologist testified in the first day of the the federal Vioxx trial, and said Merck & Co. ignored warning signs that its Vioxx painkiller posed an “extraordinary risk” of causing heart attacks in users. An excerpt from the article:
Dr. Eric Topol, head of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, said a 2000 Merck study showed patients faced an increased risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke after as little as four weeks of use. Merck, which began selling Vioxx in 1999, pulled it off the market in September 2004 after other studies highlighted the potential for heart problems.
“There was not any question about” the link between Vioxx and heart ailments, Topol said in videotaped deposition shown to a federal jury in Houston hearing claims the drug caused a Florida man’s death. That meant Vioxx sales posed “an extraordinary risk” for some users, Topol added.
The case is Plunkett vs. Merck & Co., 05-MD-1657, in the Eastern District of Louisiana.