I find it incredibly refreshing that the most compelling reporting on the Merck/Vioxx litigation is coming out of Forbes and The Wall Street Journal. This second article on the disastrous impact of Merck's apparently intentional omission of data from the VIGOR study that was subsequently published in the New England Journal of Medicine is absolutely compelling reading.
As listed in the blog entry below, I am convinced the sense of betrayal by the medical, research and pharmacy world at being mislead in such a prestigious journal, and with the stakes so high, is going to be the blow that pushes Merck to settlement. They can afford, in the court of public opinion, to make war with trial lawyers and the "greedy widows" of Vioxx victims, but they can't afford to lose the trust or esteem of doctors, academics and pharmacy professionals in their ability to be trusted to put out safe drugs.
The disaster for Merck is growing by the hour as more is learned and the sense of being lied to spreads among the medical community. If Merck doesn't move to quickly begin settlement negotiations to end this and cap liability before other damaging revelations come out, there is little question but that the major institutional stockholders will force their hand.