The Vioxx Story
Regarding the accusations attorney Mark Lanier made in his Sept. 21 letter: Merck stands behind its scientific decisions and actions with respect to Vioxx.
Merck extensively studied Vioxx before and after Food and Drug Administration approval. It provided its Vioxx data promptly and in full to the FDA. Merck did not delay in providing its clinical trial data to the FDA; in fact, Merck sought a label change on an expedited basis.
Merck's scientists believed in the safety and efficacy of Vioxx. Many, including the president of Merck's research labs, took Vioxx themselves. When Merck learned in the fall of 2004 of a small increased cardiovascular risk of Vioxx against placebo, seen only after long-term, continuous use in a trial, it promptly acted to remove the drug from the market.
These are not the actions of a company with something to hide.
KENNETH C. FRAZIER
Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Merck & Co.
Whitehouse Station, N.J.