Arkansas Vioxx Lawyer

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Arthritis occurs when the cartilage around bones and joints breaks down, affecting movement of the body. When cartilage is broken down, bones can rub against each other, creating stiffness, pain, and difficulty moving.

Osteoarthritis affects the largest percentage of people with an arthritis condition and nearly 27 million Americans. This type of arthritis typically affects only certain joints, such as hips, hands, knees, the lower back, and the neck. When people have arthritis, it can significantly impact the activities they are able to do, from routine tasks to work, and more, hindering their quality of life.

Arthritis may be caused by a variety of factors. Causes linked to the development of arthritis include heredity, being overweight, joint injury, overuse of certain joints, physical inactivity, nerve injury, and aging. There are a variety of means by which arthritis is treated, from physical and occupational therapy to the use of heat or ice packs, weight loss, physical activity, and medication, or a combination of these elements.

Vioxx was a prescription drug released by pharmaceutical leader Merck & Co. in 1999. It was released as a new generation of arthritis medicine that supposedly relieved arthritis pain without the harmful side effects including stomach ulcers and bleeding of other arthritis medications on the market. This new generation of prescription drugs were known as COX-2 inhibitors, and were grouped in non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NAISDs). They were related to over the counter medicines such as naproxen and ibuprofen, which are also NAISDs. Vioxx was used to treat arthritis pain, acute pain in adults, and pain caused from menstrual cramps.

The University of Pennsylvania conducted the first epidemiological study designed to determine the risk of heart attack associated with COX-2 inhibitors, like Vioxx. The trial concluded that there was a link between chronic Vioxx use and an increased chance of having a heart attack. Still, the Food and Drug Administration, despite warnings, approved the drug. Later Vioxx research studies proved that the prescription caused several Vioxx users to suffer from heart attacks, strokes, or blood clots only eighteen months after use. This study was performed by Merck & Co.

In 2004 Merck & Co. issued a voluntary, worldwide recall of Vioxx. At the time that Vioxx was recalled, approximately 2 million people had been prescribed the medication in the United States and an estimated 27,000 people suffered serious injury or died as a result of taking Vioxx.

When the Vioxx recall was announced, many lawsuits were filed against the Merck company, from individual lawsuits to class action cases, seeking compensation for medical expenses, as well as pain, suffering, and mental anguish in conjunction with the serious affects of Vioxx. In 2005 a Texas woman filed and won the first lawsuit against Merck. The jury found the pharmaceutical company to have been negligent in the death of her husband; the company was ordered to pay the claimant $253.4 million in damages.

In the event that you or someone you know suffered from the serious side-effects associated with Vioxx, it is recommended that you speak with an attorney who is well-versed in Arkansas laws, as well as pharmaceutical litigation. There may be statutes of limitations to bring up a case regarding Vioxx, so it is important to speak to an attorney as soon as possible.