An arthritis drug Merck developed to replace Vioxx and compete with Celebrex may be just as dangerous, according to a whistle-blower from the Food & Drug Administration. In an editorial published in the Journal of American Medical Association website, David Graham, a physician in the FDA Office of Drug Safety, writes the FDA should use common sense before willfully accepting disinformation masked as evidence about the drug.
In a report by Merck, Arcoxia is said to have similar cardiovascular events as diclofenac, an older arthritis drug. This raises serious concern because collective research results report that diclofenac increased cardiovascular risks as much as lower-dose Vioxx. The only riskier COX-2 was high dose Vioxx.
Arcoxia is a COX-2 inhibitor, like Vioxx and Celebrex. Only a month after Vioxx was removed from the market, the FDA issued an “approvable letter” and asked for more data about Arcoxia’s safety and effectiveness. The FDA has not made a final decision about Arcoxia but the drug is already sold in 62 countries.