Another Vioxx trial is underway, but this is the first case involving long-term use of the drug. Two New Jersey men, Thomas Cona and John McDarby, are suing Merck for heart attacks they suffered after taking Vioxx for extended periods of time.
During the trial, a Merck & Co. marketing executive admitted that the company was pressured in 1998 to get the pain reliever on the market before Pfizer’s competing drug, Celebrex. Another Merck employee also admitted that his pay was directly related to Merck’s sales and profits. Mr. Cona’s attorney is arguing that marketing concerns took precedence over medical ones for Merck. McDarby’s attorney says that if Merck properly warned of Vioxx’s dangers, his client never would have been prescribed the medicine since he is a diabetic.
Merck admits that long-term use of Vioxx may cause serious problems. Mr. Cona was on the medication for 22 months, and Mr. McDarby for four years prior to their respective heart attacks.
For more information about Vioxx, visit our Vioxx Legal Center.