Nebraska Vioxx Lawyer

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When people turn to their doctors because they have a medical condition that is plaguing them, they trust that their doctors will provide them with helpful solutions, such as medications that will eliminate or alleviate their symptoms. When doctors prescribe medication for their patients, they are typically under the assumption that the medication will work as promised by the pharmaceutical manufacturers. Doctors and patients are aware that there will be side effects and risks associated with medications, but the risks have been made clear to them and they are understood.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) governs over the pharmaceutical drug industry and mandates stringent testing and clinical trials. Unfortunately, regardless of the guidelines imposed on drug companies and testing that is done before drugs are approved and released for use, there are occasions in which serious risks and side effects of a drug go undiscovered. The risks and side effects are not found until the drug has been released to the public and doctors have prescribed the medication to many people, at which point some people suffer serious injury or even death because of problems with the medication.

This is what happened with the Merck & Co, Inc.'s pharmaceutical drug,Vioxx. In 1999, Merck & Co., Inc. released a medication that was found to be very effective in reducing the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis, a condition which plagues millions of Americans and that can significantly impact their daily lives. Vioxx was a medication included in a class (COX-2) of anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Vioxx was also approved by the FDA to be prescribed for the treatment of dysmenorrhoea, signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, and acute pain in adults.

Prior to the release of Vioxx, the clinical trials of the drug did not show side effects associated with cardiovascular complications, including heart attacks and strokes. However, upon release of the drug, wide distribution, and follow-up clinical trials, the company discovered that there was indeed a link between Vioxx and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke in patients taking the medication. To address this public safety issue, which could have potentially affected tens of thousands of people taking the medication, in 2004 the company issued a voluntary recall of Vioxx, as well as a public safety alert.

Following the safety recall, there were reports made that the Merck company was aware of the risks of Vioxx in 2000, but did not announce the recall until 2005. At that time, approximately two million people had been prescribed Vioxx.

There were serious injuries and deaths that were connected to patients' use of Vioxx. When the 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.

If you or someone you love was the victim of adverse side effects, such as a heart attack or stroke, in connection with the use of Vioxx, you may be entitled to compensation. Speak with a Nebraska based lawyer who is familiar with pharmaceutical litigation and personal injury claims. An attorney who is familiar with Nebraska laws regarding statutes of limitations, personal injury claims, and wrongful death suits will be able to guide you through the legal process and help you get compensation for your injury or loss.