As I reported here yesterday, a someone shocking report was released on two new studies that raise serious issues about the risk of Vioxx for short term users of the once popular pain relief drug manufactured by Merck.
When I got the news I literally had to dig through about 12 different news sources to validate the story and eventually found a release by CBS Marketwatch that described the findings of the two studies. The studies, results of which will be published in JAMA in a few weeks, seem to indicate there was no safe period of use of Vioxx, and in the second more shocking revelation it appeared to cause renal damage and heart arrhythmia in other users.
I got up this morning, did a scan of the AP reports, NY Times, legal blogs and other resources and way down in a 9th listing on the legal page of the WSJ online edition did I find the following story. You can access it by linking here.
Maybe i'm making too much out of this but it really appears that this important news is being largely ignored both by the MSM and bloggers, which is stunning as the statute of limitations on Vioxx cases and filing a claim is set to expire at the end of September. This news, that short term use could in fact appear to raise the risk of cardiovascular damage would seem to contradict the loudly proclaimed Merck defense of no damage on cases of use less then 18 months. Merck obviously has a vested interest in this latest news being kept low key in order to keep the number of cases filed to a minimum, but I wish the media would do a better job of getting the news out on this so people can make an informed decision as to whether or not filing a short duration case makes sense.
NOTE: Finally a few news outlets are carrying the story of how damaging short term usage of Vioxx appears to actually be. Click here for the NY Times article on this topic.