The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.

Drug giant Merck recalls arthritis medication on risks to heart

by C.P. Pandya

Sept. 30, 2004 – After years of dodging controversy surrounding the potential heart risks of its arthritis drug Vioxx, pharmaceutical giant Merck said it is finally withdrawing the drug from the global marketplace, effective immediately. The announcement came on the heels of a three-year study involving over 2,600 patients conducted by the company. Over two million people currently take Vioxx.

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The study, which, according to Merck, was initially designed to test the use of the drug in preventing colon cancer, found that among patients using the arthritis drug for more than eighteen months, the risk of heart disease and stroke significantly increased.

Merck's withdrawal of Vioxx, which garnered sales of $2.5 billion in 2003, led the stock to lose $25 billion of its value on Thursday following the news, according to Reuters.


Correction: In the original version of this brief, the sentence that reads: "The study, which, according to Merck, was initially designed to test the use of the drug in preventing colon cancer, found that among patients using the arthritis drug for more than eighteen months, the risk of heart disease and stroke significantly increased," incorrectly said the study was designed to show that Vioxx was safe.

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The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.


C.P. Pandya is a contributing journalist.

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