Atlantic City jury has given a judgment in favor of Merck the manufacturers of the controversy drug Vioxx which caused heart attacks in patients who took the drug. The judgment had said that the Merck will not be held liable for the 2001 heart attack suffered by a man taking the painkiller, but still faces thousands more similar lawsuits and it is clear that the manufacturers clearly gave early adequate to doctors about the possible health risks of the drug. The Pharmaceutical giant Merck is facing 6,400 lawsuits in which most of the cases are pending in New Jersey State.
Earlier in August a Texas jury found Merck liable for the death of Robert C. Ernst, who died in May 2001 after taking Vioxx, a pain killer made by the company. After two days of deliberations, the jury said that Carol Ernst, Mr. Ernst's widow, should be awarded $ 253.5 million which was later cut to $26 million. Over 5 years, about 20 million people worldwide took Vioxx before Merck stopped selling the drug in September 2004, after a clinical trial found irrefutable evidence that Vioxx had heart risks compared with a placebo.
Frederic Ruffy, analyst at Optionetics said, "This is favorable for Merck and has also pushed up the pharmaceutical sector in general and although this is a big victory, they still face a lot of pending lawsuits."
Irwin Mitchell - Sheffield law firm:
Irwin Mitchell is the law firm in Sheffield that is pursuing cases against Merck on behalf of the affected People and the law firm is confident that Merck must take all the responsibility of deaths and heart attacks caused by its drug Vioxx and it has advised 129 people who had faced serious side effects due to taking of Vioxx. Spokesman of Irwin Mitchell said, "Investigations are ongoing and proceedings in this country are likely to commence in the early part of next year and the advantage to claimants by pursuing claims under this legislation is that manufacturers may be found liable for a defective product, without a finding of fault."
Source: BBC News