Merck’s Vioxx Replacement Still A Heart Risk

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.

But surely, Merck would have learned it’s lessons and come up with a safer drug to fill the Vioxx void, right? Right?

Apparently not. David Graham, a lippy FDA insider, is blasting Arcoxia as being just as risky to the heart as Vioxx. He also accused Merck of routinely engaging in “misdirection and disinformation presented in the guise of science.” And this is the same guy who told a Senate committee in 2004 that the FDA was “virtually defenseless in preventing a tragedy and profound regulatory failure” such as Vioxx.

Although Acroxia’s currently not on pharmacy shelves in the States, it’s already on sale in 62 other countries around the world. So as impotent as the FDA is to prevent us all from croaking, we can at least take comfort in the fact that many other countries are even worse about regulating the pharmaceutical industry.

FDA Critic Blasts Merck’s Vioxx Replacement [Consumer Affairs]

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