Monday, April 03, 2006

Vioxx: Cona closing arguments

Closing arguments begin today:

A Merck lawyer told the jury in the Cona joint trial that there was no evidence in the latest Vioxx trial that the painkiller caused the heart attacks of two men who have sued the drug maker.

Christy Jones said the two men had coronary artery disease, and one of them had diabetes, a risk factor for heart disease. Jones also said Merck acted responsibly in studying Vioxx's risks and warned of the risks in the drug's label.

Jones walked jurors through a timeline of studies of Vioxx since it was launched in the U.S. in 1999. Merck followed up on studies suggesting Vioxx had risks, and submitted all data to the FDA. The FDA itself approved additional uses for Vioxx even with these risks, which were added to the drug's prescription label, Jones said. Plaintiffs' attorneys are set to make closing statements later Monday, after which the case will go to the jury.