(NaturalNews) A recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine has revealed that information about heart risks from pharmaceutical giant Merck’s Vioxx drug was available in 2000, four years before the Merck pulled the drug from the market. Because the information was not published and made public, Merck sat on it until a later clinical trial openly revealed that the drug was causing strokes and heart attacks.
Dr. Harlan Krumholz, study author from the Yale University School of Medicine, noted that he obtained pertinent safety data about Vioxx only after a lawsuit was filed against Merck by those who had been injured by the drug. It was discovered that out of the 30 studies conducted by Merck prior to when Vioxx was withdrawn, only 18 of them had been published. Six were published after the drug was withdrawn and six were never published at all.
After mulling through the study data, one trial at a time, Krumholz and his team clearly identified a link between Vioxx usage and increased heart attacks and strokes in patients. Based on when the studies were conducted, the connection was visible as early as December of 2000.
Ron Rogers, a Merck spokesman, denied the claims that any link could be observed and decried the methods used by researchers to come to this conclusion, despite acceptance of the findings following a rigorous peer review process. Rogers stated that the company’s own extensive analysis showed no connection between Vioxx usage and increased cases of heart attack and stroke prior to the time when it was removed from the market, emphasized that the company had no prior knowledge of Vioxx’s dangers.
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