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Merck loses in Vioxx case

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Mike

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Wonder who will be the first to sue the FDA for approving these drugs?

ANGLETON, Texas (AP) - A Texas jury found pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. (MRK) liable for the death of a man who took the once-popular painkiller Vioxx in the first of thousands of lawsuits pending across the country.

The case drew national attention from pharmaceutical companies, lawyers, consumers, stock analysts and arbitragers as a signal of what lies ahead for Merck, which has vowed to fight the more than 4,200 state and federal Vioxx-related lawsuits pending across the country. Merck said it plans to appeal.

A seven-man, five-woman jury from a semi-rural county south of Houston deliberated for 10 1/2 hours over two days before blaming the drug for killing Robert Ernst in his sleep in 2001. Jurors rejected Merck's argument that Ernst died of clogged arteries rather than a Vioxx-induced heart attack that led to his fatal arrhythmia.

Jurors awarded Ernst's widow, Carol, $253.4 million in damages, which is a combination of his lost pay as a Wal-Mart produce manager, mental anguish, loss of companionship and punitive damages, In Texas, punitive damages are capped at twice the amount of economic damages - lost pay - and up to $750,000 on top of non-economic damages, which are comprised of mental anguish and loss of companionship.

Non-economic damages have no limit in Texas except in medical malpractice cases, which doesn';t apply to the Ernst case.
 

Border rancher

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I really am surprised to read this. I read somewhere that my old friend Vioxx would be on the market in the US once again, and probably in Canada as well.
No matter how much my arthritis hurts, I would not ever take the drug again BECAUSE my family history says I will probably have a heart attack or stroke sometime in my life, all in my family have had. Therefore I should be smart enough not to use this drug, now that I have been told the consequences to people in high risk groups.
But, I have been told by medical professionals that people with no history of heart/circulatory related problems can safely take Vioxx. Why should those people be prevented the pain relief that this drug can give?
It seems that no one is responsibe for themselves any more. Do no research for themselves, just sue when they get into trouble!
 

CattleCo

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Merck owns about 50% or more of Merial..........not good news for Merial! I would expect Merck to start having "fund Raisers" and seling off their assets soon! WHo will buy Merial?
 

Murgen

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I have relatives that were on Vioox, said that it helped them deal with a lot of pain, they are willing to take the risks.

Sometimes it seems that anybody will sue for death, when it is immenant (sp?) anyway. Maybe pain relief is a blessing sometimes?
 

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