In cases currently under trial, not a lot of new information is being presented. The main attack line used by plaintiffs attorneys is that Merck tried its best to hide the fatal risks of taking Vioxx and aggressively marketed the drug to drown out any questions about safety.
In a very interesting development, though, even a doctor who prescribed Vioxx to his patients and himself, suffered a heart attack. Dr. John Braun is suing the company and is testifying in the cases of John McDarby and Thomas Cona. Dr. Braun says that Merck sales rep were so aggressive that they visited him twice a week. A couple of months ago it was disclosed that Merck trained its sales rep to cover up the risks of Vioxx.
The outcome of this trial is very important because both the victims have taken the painkiller for more than 18 months – the company agrees that Vioxx does raise the risk of heart attacks and strokes if taken that long. The company won two previous cases of victims who used the drug for less than that period.
First Celebrex lawsuit trial scheduled
Rosie Ware, an American woman is suing Pfizer claiming that her stroke was a result of taking Celebrex. Celebrex belongs to the same class of drugs as Vioxx and Bextra – two banned drugs in the COX-2 family of painkillers. Merck is facing thousands of lawsuits resulting from over 60,000 deaths.
While lawsuits have also been filed in the Bextra recall case, Wares case is the first one to be tried (the trial is scheduled for June this year) for Celebrex – a drug that is still available (though with a black box warning). She is being represented by Jere Beasley of Montgomery, Alabama – a very powerful attorney also active in Vioxx litigation.