Merck has been handed a setback in a key Vioxx lawsuit. A New Jersey jury awarded $47.5 million for a plaintiff. It was the second time for the case to go to a jury. Merck won the first case, but an appeals court threw out the verdict after deciding that Merck had excluded new evidence that had later come to light. The jury decided that Merck had committed consumer fraud and had intentionally suppressed or concealed material information from physicians. Merck says it will appeal the decision as it faces thousands of suits from other plaintiffs alleging that Vioxx had harmed them.
- read the Irish Times' report on the trial
ALSO: Former CMS administrator Mark McClellan says that the safety issues surrounding Vioxx could have been discovered much sooner if the FDA had mined insurers' big drug databases for more information on drugs. Report