Dollars and Jens
Friday, February 18, 2005
Could Vioxx Return?
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Merck & Co. Inc. will consider selling its arthritis pill Vioxx again if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration decides the cardiovascular risks are similar to those of related prescription pain relievers, a company official said on Thursday.

New information on competing pain drugs presented to a U.S. advisory committee over two days at a public hearing has changed the company's evaluation of Vioxx, Merck Research Labs President Peter Kim told an FDA advisory panel.

Merck voluntarily withdrew the drug in September after a study called Approve showed Vioxx doubled heart attack and stroke risk after 18 months of use.
I thought it a mistake to withdraw it from the market in the first place. The right thing to do, morally and financially, was to inform the public (and especially the doctors writing the prescriptions) that Cox-2 inhibitors really aren't a good idea for everyone. Risks exist, but so do benefits. They will balance differently for different people.

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