Michigan Vioxx Lawyer

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There are very few individuals who would take a medication that was proven to cause serious cardiovascular problems, such as a heart attack. The only way an individual would choose to take a medication that had such a high risk of death is if they didn't even know about the risks in the first place. This is exactly what happened in the case of the drug Vioxx, the popular painkiller prescribed to treat arthritis. Between 1999 and 2004, Vioxx was prescribed to millions of ailing patients, and made billions of dollars for its manufacturer, Merck & Co..

Vioxx was mainly prescribed to treat arthritis pain, painful menstrual cramps and acute pain in adults. Even before the initial launch date of Vioxx, concerns were raised about the drug and its safety. People questioned its swift approval by the FDA and Merck's overbearing advertising strategy. In addition, reports came out saying that the University of Pennsylvania had concluded in a medical trial that the use of Vioxx made users more prone to certain cardiovascular troubles, including heart attacks, blood clots, and strokes. However, Merck assured the public that Vioxx was safe, and it was soon stocked in pharmacies and prescribed to thousands of people around the country, becoming the most popular prescription drug in a matter of weeks. However, these people did not know that the drug they were taking, which they thought was perfectly safe, was actually harming them in a serious way.

For many people who took Vioxx, it was their first truly pain-free period in years. It is no wonder that by 2003, Vioxx made up 10 percent of Merck's total revenue stream at over 2.3 billion dollars. It wasn't until years later that the FDA and Merck realized that they should have paid more attention to the findings from the University of Pennsylvania. Following the release of Vioxx, more and more cases of death and injury that were linked to Vioxx usage started to surface. The FDA was alerted to the situation and launched a three-year long investigation into the drug and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on the market.

In addition to heart attacks and strokes, Vioxx was also linked to many other life-threatening side effects. Vioxx users reported were severe allergic reactions, acute kidney failure and problems with the liver. Swelling of the tongue, throat, face and lips are common allergic reactions associated with the use of Vioxx. This swelling can be very serious, as it may cause someone to stop breathing or have trouble swallowing. Long-term use of Vioxx also raised concerns about the worsening of an already present condition of kidney failure. If left untreated, these medical complications could become even more serious, and even fatal.

On September 30, 2004, Merck and Co., independent of the Food and Drug Administration, issued a worldwide recall of Vioxx, when they realized they could no longer ignore the negative reports of the side effects Vioxx was causing. While Vioxx was being pulled from the shelves and halted in mid-production, the Food and Drug Administration issued a public health warning. Thousands of people had already died before this warning was issued. Ironically, the first warning signs about the dangers of Vioxx use were reported five years earlier. Merck was reluctant to pull it during those five years, because it was such a large source of revenue. As a result, too many innocent lives were lost because of profit and greed.

If you or a loved one have taken Vioxx in the past, are a resident of Michigan, and have suffered from a Vioxx-related illness or injury, it is important that you contact a Michigan attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will be able to assist you through this very difficult time and will help you start the process of filing a lawsuit against Merck for their negligence. Your Michigan Vioxx attorney will inform you of your rights and advise you throughout the entire process. He or she will be on your side and fight for the compensation you deserve. The more people that stand up to the drug companies, the less likely it will be that a similar situation like this will happen again. Contact a Michigan Vioxx lawyer or attorney today, and help put a stop to Merck's negligence.