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Home Industry News Merck: No added risk from ending Vioxx use

Merck: No added risk from ending Vioxx use

12th May 2006

Merck has released a review of the study that forced it to withdraw Vioxx from sale because of the increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. According to Merck’s new report, any increased risk of such occurrences happening is “not statistically significant” after patients stop taking Vioxx.

The APPROVe study, which started in 2001, found that Vioxx patients were more likely to suffer from adverse thromobotic cardiovascular events (such as heart attacks and strokes). However, Merck now says that the results also show that there was no significant difference in the risk of suffering such an event after stopping treatment between users of Vioxx and the placebo.

Peter S. Kim, president of Merck Research Laboratories, said “Our preliminary analyses of the off-drug period did not demonstrate a statistically significant increased risk of confirmed cardiovascular thrombotic events after patients in the APPROVe study stopped taking Vioxx.”

“Our preliminary analyses of the off-drug period did not demonstrate a statistically significant increased risk of confirmed cardiovascular thrombotic events after patients in the APPROVe study stopped taking Vioxx,” he added.

Merck are currently defending over 11,000 lawsuits from Vioxx and their families for damages caused by the increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. Almost 500,000 Britons have used the drug, according to BBC News. It reported last August that thousands of UK users and the families of those who died when using Vioxx could sue Merck.

Before Merck withdrew Vioxx, it was earning $2.5 billion (1.32 billion pounds) in sales revenue from the acute anti-inflammatory drug.

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