Merck & Co.’s chief executive for 10 years, Gilmartin on Sept. 30 withdrew the painkiller Vioxx in the biggest prescription-drug recall ever, prompting at least 475 lawsuits against the No. 2 U.S. drugmaker by Vioxx users. 

A three-year study by Merck, based in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, found that patients taking Vioxx for more than 18 months faced twice the risk of a heart attack compared with those taking a placebo.

Gilmartin, 63, spent months afterward responding to questions from lawmakers, lawyers and consumer groups. He said in a Nov. 15 interview that his first indication Vioxx carried a heart risk came Sept. 23, and the company withdrew the medicine a week later. Vioxx accounted for $2.5 billion in 2003 sales.

Critics such as Andy Birchfield Jr., an attorney in Montgomery, Alabama, whose firm has filed more than 60 suits alleging injuries caused by Vioxx, said Merck had been concerned about the potential for heart risk before the drug was approved. The company had warnings from earlier studies that should have changed how it marketed the medicine, he said.

Merrill Lynch & Co. has estimated that Merck’s liabilities in Vioxx suits could reach $18 billion.

We're here to help!

We live by our creed of "helping those who need it most" and have helped thousands of clients get the justice they desperately needed and deserved. If you feel you have a case or just have questions please contact us for a free consultation. There is no risk and no fees unless we win for you.

Fields marked    may be required for submission.
  1. I'm an attorney

Two hands in a caring embrace in a hospital

January marks National Mentoring Month

Who do you believe most positively impacted your life? Some might say a family member—mom, dad, aunt...
Andy Birchfield

Andy Birchfield provides Law360 with the ‘Plaintiff...

Beasley Allen lawyer Andy Birchfield, who heads up the firm’s Mass Torts section handling cases...
Cole Ports, Frank Woodson - Legal Associations Presidents

Beasley Allen lawyers leading state associations

Frank Woodson was inducted as the President of the Alabama Association for Justice (ALAJ) and J. Cole...

Beasley Allen welcomes new attorney, Dr. Margaret M....

Beasley Allen is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Margaret M. Thompson, Of Counsel in the...

Grant Enfinger scores first NASCAR win at Talladega in... racecar driver Grant Enfinger claimed his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series...
Gibson Vance accepting induction plaque for the American Board of Trial Advocates

Gibson Vance selected for ABOTA membership

Gibson Vance from our firm has been inducted into membership for the American Board of Trial Advocates...

Continuing the battle with Big Pharma

The entire Beasley Allen staff had our personal interest at heart. We were part of the family of a down to earth, trustworthy, understanding law firm. Thank you, Beasley Allen, for continuing the battle with Big Pharma.