Merc & Vioxx Case

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Merck and the Recall of Vioxx Florence N. Wandera MGT 600 – Corporate Responsibility & Bus Law Merck and the Recall of Vioxx Case Summary Merck & Co. Inc. is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of human health products. One such product is Vioxx, developed in 1994 and approved on May 21, 1999 by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of pain, inflammation, and stiffness caused by arthritis. The drug was also later approved for use in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in both children and adults. The product was promoted aggressively by Merck and had emerged as one of the best selling drugs for the company within a year of…show more content…
Another very disturbing factor was the company’s “Dodge Ball Vioxx” training document. According to the case, the results of the Vioxx-naproxen study alerted doctors and patients, and in order to help sales personnel deal with questions that both doctors and patients raised, the company developed a sales aid called “Dodge Ball Vioxx,” basically a document intended to help sales representatives get away with questions regarding concerns that customers and doctors had about the drug. Who does that? I was seriously shocked that the company would go to such extremes to avoid taking responsibility, especially when thousands of people’s lives depended on it. Clearly Merck was determined to fight anyone who was skeptical about Vioxx’s safety. This was shown through its actions to shut down academic researchers who tried questioning the drug’s safety by withdrawing its funding to these institutions or lectures that it sponsored at the various schools. Merck even ignored the Kaiser Permanente study, which was sponsored by the FDA. The results of the study showed that patients taking the highest recommended dosage of Vioxx had nearly 2.7 times the risk of heart attack and sudden cardiac death as patients taking Celebrex. Again Merck dismissed these FDA conclusions about Vioxx. All this

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