Merck and Company: Vioxx

Essay by joesoxUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, October 2006

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Merck and Company recently pulled its arthritis medication, Vioxx, off the shelves because of recent studies that link the drug to increased risk of heart attack and stroke. The FDA had been conducting a study that showed an increased amount of cardiovascular problems in those who had been using Vioxx for eighteen months or more. This decision has outraged many Vioxx users because many had no idea of the newfound risks associated with Vioxx. Although Vioxx users did not know of the increased risks of the product, they were aware of the potential side effects such as abnormal abdominal pain and flu-like symptoms. Vioxx is one example of a drug that was not adequately tested by the FDA and as a result put longtime users at risk of attracting potentially fatal symptoms.

Both the FDA and Merck and Company have been blamed for not researching the drug enough, but Merck and Company was only the manufacturer.

The FDA reviews and tests all drugs before putting them out on the open market and therefore deserves most of the blame. The FDA allowed Vioxx to be put on the market in 1999 and within the first two years there were tests done by the FDA on Vioxx after complaints about stomach pains but the studies done did not reveal any major risks associated with Vioxx. The frightening part about this story is that the study done that discovered these increased risks was intended to determine whether or not Vioxx protected against cancerous intestinal polyps or extra tissue. The fact that the FDA came across this information on accident shows the public how ignorant the FDA was on the subject of risks associated with Vioxx. Many, if not all Vioxx users are stunned that the FDA did not take complaints seriously about...