Killer VIOXX's Restorative Justice
After pulling pain killer Vioxx from the market three years ago, Merck says it will pay US$4.85 billion to settle 27,000 suits involving people who were injured or died after ingesting the drug.
Vioxx was supposed to be the 'super aspirin' that would relieve pain safely. Instead, Vioxx was recalled because it increased the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
It's not as if people in power didn't know about the impending disaster — what David Graham, a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) drug safety official, calls “maybe the single greatest drug-safety catastrophe in the history of this country.''
Testifying before a Senate committee in November, Dr. Graham put the number in United States who had suffered heart attacks or stroke as result of taking the arthritis drug Vioxx in the range of 88,000 to 139,000. As many as 40 percent of these people, or about 35,000-55,000, died as a result, Graham said.
also see http://pages.quicksilver.net.nz/blair/media/vioxx1.htm