Friday, April 07, 2006

Vioxx: Gilmartin on the stand

It's the first testimony in any trial setting by Merck's former chief, Raymond Gilmartin. He testified in the punitive damages phase of the McDarby trial.

You can read much more by going to the Forbes site, here.

From the Philly paper:

Gilmartin appeared to be taken off-guard once when attorney Mark Lanier showed him an e-mail from his onetime chief scientist that appeared to question Gilmartin's leadership. Edward Scolnick wrote an email to new CEO Peter Kim, expressing hope for a "reborn" Merck under a "new CEO" who would not restrict Kim's freedom as Scolnick's had been restricted "in recent years."

Gilmartin, was shown that email after he had finished testifying that Scolnick was a great scientist dedicated to safety. He paused when the email was discussed.

Go here for more.

From the Forbes article:

During the hearing, Lanier showed jurors an internal analysis Merck performed in October 2000. It pooled data from clinical studies and allegedly indicated that Vioxx users suffered more than twice as many heart attacks as those on comparison drugs used in the studies.

The attorney declared that the analysis was never given to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "So you are telling us it was important enough to do the study but not important enough to send to the FDA?" Lanier asked him.

"No, I'm not telling you that at all," the AP quoted Gilmartin as snapping back.