Thursday, November 16, 2006

Vioxx: Another Verdict in Favor of Merck

A federal jury on Wednesday cleared Merck in the July 2003 heart attack suffered by a Utah man who took Vioxx for 10 1/2 months.

Charles Mason blamed the drug for the heart attack which he suffered in July 2003. He had taken Vioxx after years of taking other anti-inflammatory drugs because of back pain.

Defense counsel: Beck said he and co-counsel Tarek Ismail made several points during trial. The attorneys focused on Mason's admission under cross-exam that he stopped taking Vioxx four days before the heart attack. The other was that film taken during the operation to open his blocked artery showed that the blockage was almost all plaque, rather than a big blood clot.

Defense counsel argued that there was no Vioxx in the Plaintiff's system when the heart attack happened. During his closing argument, Beck focused on those four days without Vioxx.

During closing, Merck counsel apparently told jurors that the New Orleans M.D. who had testified he believed Vioxx caused the heart attack also testified that he had never seen that film and was not qualified to evaluate it.

More later.