Iowa Vioxx Lawyer

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Vioxx is a prescription drug that was prescribed to millions of people across the United States. An estimated 84 million people were reportedly taking Vioxx, when Merck, the pharmaceutical company responsible for the creation and launch of Vioxx, announced a worldwide recall. Vioxx was recalled because the prescription increased the risk two-fold of heart attack, stroke or blood clot.

It has been reported that at the time of the recall, over 30,000 people had died as a result of the drug. Vioxx was part of a new series of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) arthritis medications that were called COX 2 inhibitors. COX 2 inhibitors were anti-inflammatory pills that worked very much like ibuprofen, naproxen, and Celebrex. These new medications were supposed to work better than the older arthritis medicines on the market and without the gastrointestinal side effects. Vioxx was used to mainly treat arthritis pain, acute pain in adults, and pain caused from menstrual cramps.

Arthritis can be defined as the painful swelling of a specific location in the body. Most often, arthritis swelling occurs in a place where two joints connect, such as in the knees or elbow, and this pain can be crippling. Vioxx was released for public use in 1999 as a new arthritis wonder drug. Before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Vioxx, the University of Pennsylvania warned them about the relationship between chronic Vioxx use and an increased chance of having a heart attack. The drug passed and was released despite these warning signs. In 2001, clinical trials were conducted that showed that those who used Vioxx were twice as likely to endure dangerous cardiovascular problems than those who took a placebo. It is approximated that over 140,000 heart attacks have been linked to Vioxx use. Merck, the drug company behind Vioxx, was given the heads up on its products' frightening health risks, but it wasn't until four years later that the company finally recalled Vioxx. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) even issued the pharmaceutical giant a warning prior to the recall.

In 2005, Merck voluntarily took the popular product off the market. The recall shocked the nation; there has never been a drug recall of such proportion in the history of the pharmaceutical industry. Approximately 2 million patients were still taking the drug when the recall occurred. It is believed that the rise and fall of Vioxx is related to the dominant drug manufacturer's masterful public relations aggressive, direct-to-customer marketing and potential ineffective regulations on behalf of the FDA. It is estimated that they spent close to $500 million on promotional tactics and direct consumer advertising. Merck raked in $2.5 billion in sales that covered the globe in more than 80 countries. There is still debate about whether or not Merck was intentionally negligent about its drug's safety and, as more information has been revealed, there may be more evidence that the drug company misled the medical community and its patients. Particularly suspicious is the FDA's initial approval of Vioxx back in 1999.

Thousands of people have passed away due to the dangers of Vioxx. Merck and Company did not pull Vioxx from the shelves until they did their own medical study that proved that Vioxx users suffered from a heart attack or stroke after 18 months of use. It took five years for it to be taken off the shelves, despite the outcries for Vioxx to be pulled from the market earlier. During this time, Vioxx sales were responsible for over $2 billion in profit a year. It is not fair that innocent residents have had to suffer; families have lost loved ones due to one company's negligent behavior. If you are a resident of the state of Iowa and have suffered a medical illness due to the use of Vioxx, please contact a lawyer immediately.