Martha Rosenberg
June 5, 2014

Merck was aware of a popular drug's impact on bones but still pushed it on doctors and patients.

It has been a decade since Merck's "super-aspirin" Vioxx was withdrawn from the market after a study showed it doubled the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Heavily advertised by celebrity athletes like Dorothy Hamill and Bruce Jenner and used by approximately 20 million patients, estimates of the heart attacks caused by Vioxx range from 27,000 to up to 140,000. The Vioxx scandal made Merck the poster child for deceptive marketing because the cardiovascular risk data was deliberately withheld from the FDA, medical journals and the drug-taking public and their doctors, according to news reports. In 2010, Merck compensated 20,591 heart attack and 12,447 stroke plaintiffs out of a $4.85 billion settlement fund.

Now, in an improbable chain of events, Merck is returning to court against its will to face charges that Vioxx also caused devastating non-healing of spine/bone after surgical procedures, a charge supported by scientific studies.

Read more: http://www.alternet.org/personal-hea...yed-mans-spine