The Wall Street Journal Health Blog has some “eye-popping” news — a doctor has been caught fabricating 21 drug studies, some of which were favorable to drugs that have since been pulled from the market — Merck’s Vioxx and Pfizer’s Bextra.
Newly unearthed documents may reveal that Merck Pharmaceuticals ghostwrote dozens of Vioxx studies and then paid well-known doctors to put their name on them as if they wrote them, according to a new article to be published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). In one instance, a draft version of an article to be published listed the lead author as “External author?” Dr. Steven H. Ferris, one of the doctors whose research was questioned, call the article “simply false”, its allegations “egregious.” Let’s see what the JAMA article has to say about the study Ferris supposedly worked on:
Merck has announced that it has agreed to settle the majority of the 60,000 Vioxx-related individual claims against it.
The study was outed yesterday on the New England Journal of Medicine’s website. The editors of the journal and the study’s lead author both warned that the research methodology left the “findings open to interpretation.”
Supporters of a new bill working its way through Congress say that limiting the amount of direct to consumer advertising in the first two years of a drug’s life would help insure that drugs are safe before patients are encouraged to seek prescriptions from their doctors.
The Food and Drug Administration said yesterday that it is making changes in the way it operates to prevent the kind of drug safety controversies that have dogged the agency in recent years.
Merck’s getting in on the arthritis market again with a new drug, called Arcoxia. You might remember their previous offering, Vioxx, which was discontinued two years ago after octogenarians countrywide lifted their contorted, claw-like hands to a withered chest and let out a rattling gasp under the influence of a massive, Vioxx-induced heart attack. Lawsuits abounded.
• Home field advantage. Shortness of breath ensues amongst the 16,000 coat-tail hopefuls, causing them to reach for their pills. [LAT] “Verdict Bolsters Merck’s Vioxx”
A jury awarded $9 million in punitive damages to John Darby who blamed his heart attacks on Vioxx. The sum is a defeat for drug-maker Merck, which, for some fucking reason, was assumed to be “bulletproof” because the trial took place in New Jersey.