Millions of arthritis victims hailed the 1999 release of Vioxx, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, as a miracle. The drug proved highly effective for managing acute forms of pain, and in 2000, a clinical trial was begun to study its ability to prevent recurring colon polyps. While Vioxx was found to successfully prevent the formation of new polyps, after 18 months, a significant number of the patients in the study developed cardiovascular problems. Twice as many Vioxx recipients suffered strokes, heart attacks or blood clots as those patients who received placebos.
While Merck & Co., manufacturer of Vioxx, claims the risks posed by long term use of Vioxx are relatively low, on September 30, 2004 the company chose to voluntarily halt the clinical trial and issue a Vioxx recall. With as many as 80 million users worldwide, the Vioxx recall is considered one of the largest in history.
Merck’s decision to remove Vioxx from pharmacies is a relief, but for people who have used the medication since it was released five years ago, this action came too late. If you or a loved one has been injured or endured a cardiovascular event as a result of taking Vioxx, contact our personal injury lawyers for a consultation.
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