The Palm Beach Post reports the dangers of the once popular drug Vioxx were known years before the drug was withdrawn from the market in 2004.
The dangers included increased risk for heart attack, stroke and death and were known as early as 2000 — a year after the drug was put on the market, the article states. Merck & Co., manufacturer of the drug, denies the allegations and states the drug was voluntarily withdrawn within a week of receiving data from clinical trials.
However, researchers found 21 trials had been completed which showed the risk for a cardiovascular event was 35 per cent higher for those taking Vioxx compared to those taking a placebo. This percentage grew to 43 percent in 2004 as more trials were competed.
The need for major changes in the existing system for development, approval, promotion and post-market testing of drugs in the United States is highlighted by the findings of this research.