New evidence at Vioxx trial hurts Merck

A previously unrevealed 2001 letter shows that Merck understated the cardiovascular risks for patients taking its painkiller Vioxx, according to documents and testimony in the first lawsuit over the drug to reach trial. The letter, sent to thousands of doctors, stated that only 0.5 percent of patients had "cardiovascular events" during Merck's study of Vioxx, but in fact 14.6 percent did, and 2.5 percent had serious problems. The discrepancy between data shared with doctors and Merck's internal reports may hurt the pharmaceutical giant's defense in this case.

- read this article from The New York Times for more

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