Although there are over forty million American sufferers with Arthritis which causes pains in the joints and their deterioration, the side effects of VIOXX, the drug that was launched by Merck has more of the side effects than the benefits. After the approval of the drug, it was actually distributed to over 30, 000 pharmacies in a period not exceeding eleven days. Merck & Co. is the body that should be responsible for the blame(Tom, 23-45). The drug ranks second in terms of sale resulting to a situation of four lawsuits in the federal court, several other lawsuits in the state courts, claims on individual ground as well as class action. As is the case with FDA the blame has been avoided because they already issued a letter of warning to Merck on the 17th day of September 2001 intended to terminate some efforts of marketing as a result of the fact that the activities as well as the materials in use for the purpose of promotion of the drug were “false, lacking in fair balance, or otherwise misleading in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and applicable regulations”. (Jack, 124)
The seriousness of the issue is based on the fact that the risk of contracting cardiovascular diseases such as the heart attack, blood clots and stroke is more than double in patients using VIOXX in comparison to the people applying traditional pain treatment for arthritis. Merck undertook some promotion campaigns with regard to VIOXX responsible for the minimization of cardiovascular findings that were potentially serious as observed in “VIOXX Gastrointestinal Outcomes Research,” (Marianne, 213), with reference to allegations linking VIOXX with cardiovascular problems that leads to the extent of sudden death. This therefore has the implication that Merck & Co. should entirely be held accountable for the blame
Jack Gorman, The Essential Guide to Psychiatric Drugs NY: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2007
Marianne Jennings, Business Ethics. NY: Cengage Learning, 2008.
Tom Nesi, Poison Pills: The Untold Story of the VIOXX Drug Scandal. NY: St. Martin’s Press, 2008.