Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Vioxx Trial

A good post on the Merck trial at In The Pipeline...


Blogger Pooh said...

Don't get me started here. Ok, if Merck Vioxxes a dude to death because they finnessed certain FDA procedures or something like that, I can see a decent sized award. But A) the drug was FDA approved WITH WARNINGS THAT IT COULD CAUSE HEART ATTACKS. As in, you are on notice that your heart could explode. B) The dude did not die from vioxx related cause. C) The jury didn't give a crap (understandably, because they were bored out of their skulls, and Merck's defense team screwed a series of pooches in their presentation. Rule #1 in a complex case - don't piss the jury off. Rule #2 - DO NOT PISS THE JURY OFF. Certainly don't even appear to obfuscate if you are big drug company M, as anything like that will look like you are, well trying to obfuscate and confuse the jurors. See rule #1).

Further, what the flying farck makes death by Vioxx so much worse then death by drunk driver, or death by OJ? (Incidentally, this is part of why I think private, punitive awards are nonsensical in pretty much any case where actual, MONEY damages can be shown. If we are talking about a 'civil rights' case where all the plaintiff can really get is a piece of paper saying "don't do that anymore", then I get it a little, as those are the kinds of suits we would like to encourage. Personal injury claims need no such encouragement...)

End rant.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Kaiser said...

Good rant.

The interesting problem, in my mind, is that the FDA only holds drug companies responsible for a certain level of testing (like say, a 1 in 100,000 effect). What this guy experienced was even more rare than that. You can't reasonably expect a drug company to conduct that level of testing. You're taking a DRUG, after all. There is some inherent risk that you're taking by putting it into your body. It's not that different than agreeing to surgery in that way...

8:30 PM  

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