Merck (MRK): More Trouble With Vioxx

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A lot of people believe that Merck (MRK) knew a lot more about the dangers of its arthritis drug Vioxx than the company ever let on. Heart problems were apparently a by-product of using the treatment.

An affirmation of Merck’s possible guilt was the $4.85 billion that it paid to settle a number of Vioxx suits. But, the fun may not be over.

According to Reuters, "A long-term analysis of people who took the arthritis drug Vioxx confirms it doubles the risk of strokes and heart attacks." Merck will probably say it did not know much about that, but presumably it does road test its own drugs.

The suits over Vioxx seemed to be dying down. That is not going to continue.

Douglas A. McIntyre