On November 9, 2007 Merck agreed to a $4.85 million global settlement in the Vioxx litigation. Lopez McHugh is no longer accepting clients for this case. But thanks to the efforts of Lopez McHugh attorneys, hundreds of clients received compensation for their injuries.
Soon after its approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1999, Vioxx® – Merck & Co.’s blockbuster painkiller commonly used to treat arthritis – was strongly linked with several severe adverse cardiovascular events, including heart attacks and strokes. Under immense pressure from government officials, Merck eventually removed Vioxx® from store shelves. But unfortunately, much damage had already been done. About two million people were taking the prescription drug at the time it was pulled. One study linked Vioxx® to 27,000 heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths in the United States up until 2003.
Vioxx: The Dangers
A thorough, long-term study found that after 18 months of use, Vioxx® doubled the risk of serious cardiac events, including heart attack and stroke. This was supported by other research concluding that even with as little as two-to-four weeks of use, Vioxx® could increase the risk of cardiovascular events. Some of the Vioxx® dangers noted in the studies included:
- Blood clots
- Heart attack
- Kidney complications
Vioxx and the Law
The circumstances surrounding the marketing and FDA approval of Vioxx had been the subject of much criticism and speculation. Some found it puzzling that the drug managed to stay on the market years after its dangerous effects were discovered. However, Merck & Co. downplayed the dangers of Vioxx in its marketing. As a result of inadequate warnings, the company faced more than 11,000 product liability lawsuits.