Virginia Attorney for Vioxx Wrongful Deaths, Heart Attacks and Strokes
On September 30th, 2004, pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co., Inc., announced a worldwide public advisory and recall of Vioxx, a popular arthritis and pain relieving drug used by 84 million patients worldwide since its release on the market in 1999. The recall was announced after the results of a three year study of Vioxx users sponsored by Merck became known. The tests indicated that Vioxx users faced substantially increased risks for heart attack and stroke, especially those users who had been regularly on the drug for longer than 18 months.
“While we recognize that Vioxx has benefited many patients, we believe this action is 1 morappropriate,” said Peter S. Kim, President of Merck Research Laboratories, of the recall.
While Merck hopes to appear prudent through its recent actions, as consumers we must question where this caution and concern was back in 1999, before Vioxx became one of the most profitable prescription drugs in history. Couldn’t these alarming findings about heart attacks and strokes have been uncovered before doctors across America (not to mention 80 other nations in the world) began prescribing Vioxx to millions suffering from arthritis? Was the demand for treatment for the painful (but hardly fatal) condition of arthritis so urgent that Merck considered the unknown risks of Vioxx worth taking?
And for just how long were the risks of Vioxx “unknown?” Since the announcement, investigations show that officials at Merck had clear warning about the dangers of Vioxx as early as March, 2000, just a few scant months after the arthritis drug hit the market. The Vioxx cover up, according to insider e-mails published in the Wall Street Journal, may have begun then, with explicit instructions from Merck executives to conceal evidence about the study’s findings related to heart attacks and heart disease.
Many Americans may view this as just another corporate scandal. But with Big Pharma, the stakes are higher. For better or worse, prescription drugs have become a central part of American health. As consumers, we must be able to trust the companies that profit from our pharmaceutical demands. Big Pharma is handsomely rewarded for this trust. For example, in 2001, in a year of recession and terrorism, corporate revenues in every economic sector declined by an average of 50 per cent. Only the drug industry showed a huge jump in revenue, climbing from $28 billion in 2000 to $37 billion in 2001. Such increases in profit show no sign of flagging for the drug juggernauts.
But becoming recession-proof doesn’t grant Big Pharma immunity from justice. Warning consumers of potential dangers in a product is the most fundamental duty manufacturers owe to us. When they fail to do this, affected consumers must respond through the courts with strong legal representation.
If you’ve lost a loved one who prescribed to Vioxx and you suspect the cause of death may have been related to their use of the arthritis drug, Virginia attorney Stephen M. Smith is ready to bring his record of winning legal representation to your case. As an attorney with 30 years of experience in representing everyday people against large corporations and insurance companies, each year Stephen is consistently among Virginia’s most successful attorneys, winning multi-million dollar verdicts for consumers who’s injury, illness, pain and suffering are often linked to corporate negligence or greed. Few attorneys can obtain a higher settlement or verdict for your drug injury claim. Contact Stephen Smith today.