SPOTLIGHT: Judge's decision new setback for Merck

A federal judge ruled against a Merck effort to have two Vioxx cases thrown out, saying that FDA approval of a drug label doesn't free it of liability. The judge called Merck's claims of immunity "unpersuasive," dealing a setback to the giant pharma company's efforts to toss out thousands of cases involving patients who began to take Vioxx after an April, 2002 label change included risks of cardiovascular incidents. Lawyers for the plaintiffs say the label warnings were inadequate. Report

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