An expert FDA panel is scheduled to meet on Thursday to review the highly controversial case for Merck's Arcoxia, a would-be successor to Vioxx. Just days ago, two top researchers in the field warned against any approval for Arcoxia, saying that the risks far exceeded the potential rewards. Merck, for its part, is betting that the $500 million already invested in Arcoxia can still earn some kind of payback if the FDA will approve the cox-2 inhibitor for a segment of the market. And they're hoping that the different molecular structure involved in Arcoxia will help scientists distinguish its potential risks from the debacle that surrounded Vioxx. This will be a very closely watched vote.
- read this Philadelphia Inquirer report on the debate over Arcoxia
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