We have all heard about that wonderful drug, Vioxx, a miracle drug which effectively controlled pain allowing for a normal and full life. However, we soon learned that the drug also caused heart attacks and strokes….information kept from the consuming public.
The latest news is that Merck & Co., the drug’s manufacturer, has become the subject of a federal grand-jury probe into its sales and marketing practices for Vioxx, the painkiller it pulled from the market in 2004. The health-care-fraud unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts is investigating whether Merck promoted Vioxx to health-care professionals for uses other than those approved by government regulators, a practice known as off-label marketing.
Merck, one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers in the world, has so far declined to comment on the report of the investigation.