Friday, December 09, 2005

Merck hid data in Vioxx study! Wow what a surprise

Please excuse my lack of surprise over the news/bombshell late in the day:

Merck withheld information about heart problems suffered by patients taking the company's painkiller Vioxx from the manuscript of a journal article published in 2000, the New England Journal of Medicine just reported.

The journal said relevant and dare I say important information about the problems had been deleted from the manuscript, and the article's authors -- two Merck employees among them -- did not reveal information about three heart attacks, though they knew about the incidents at least four months before publication.

This from USA Today:

"Pharmaceutical giant Merck was accused ... of knowingly withholding data on three heart attacks related to its controversial painkiller Vioxx in an influential medical study in 2000.

Shameful? Of course. Despicable? Probably. Surprising? Not in the least.