A jury was chosen today in Atlantic City for the seventh trial against Merck, the manufacturer of the arthritis drug Vioxx. Opening statements are to begin Monday.
This case involves plaintiff Elaine Doherty, 68, who claims Vioxx caused a heart attack and the resulting double heart-bypass surgery. Doherty had taken Vioxx for about two and a half years before her heart attack, and continued to take the drug until Merck withdrew Vioxx from the market.
The trial is expected to last about one month. This will be the first Vioxx trial since Merck admitted certain “inaccuracies” in its primary test results. Those results have been used as a defense by Merck in each of the preceding Vioxx trials. See my post of May 31, 2006, for an explanation of these inaccuracies.