Debate over Vioxx

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Where did the FDA fall short in their approval of Vioxx?

Debate over Vioxx

Critics, and now some lawmakers contend that the FDA failed to police Merck's efforts to downplay Vioxx's cardiovascular risks, including a card of misleading safety information that salespeople distributed to doctors. Although a link between Vioxx and heart attacks first emerged in a medical journal in 2000, Merck managed to build the drug into a $2.5 billion-a-year product by 2003. Representative Henry Waxman, a Democrat from California, said. "Merck gave its sales force a specific script to use with doctors when showing them the card, telling them to say to doctors that the cardiovascular mortality of Vioxx was eight times lower than other drugs."



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