Monday, August 22, 2005

Understanding the Vioxx Verdict

It's worth your while to pick up today's WSJ as it has two articles that detail the verdict and its potential ramifications.

The jurors concluded that a critical piece of evidence was a 1997 email from Dr. Alise Reicin that said in part that the possibility of increased cardiovascular events should be considered of great concern. Merck has told the FDA and the public that it did not know of the drug's CV risk until the fall of 2004.

My good friend Tom Kline was taking the deposition of Dr. Reicin on Friday when the verdict was announced. Dr. Reicin was so shaken by the news that she could not complete her deposition that day. (Mr. Kline is on the Vioxx MDL steering committee, and we are working together, investigating other potentiall unsafe drugs).

Before you reach any conclusions on the verdict, it's worth the price of the paper to see what happened in this trial.