Vioxx’s Bad Facts

In today’s NY Times there’s a story discussing the reason(s) why Merck lost its first Vioxx trial. The story concludes Merck lost because of bad facts. Jurors got to see a mountain of documents and email messages that showed how Merck researched Vioxx’s heart risks and presented what it knew to doctors and consumers. The documents showed that scientists at Merck were worried about Vioxx’s potential cardiovascular risks as early as 1997, two years before Merck began selling the drug. In spite of these bad facts, Merck’s general counsel, Kenneth C. Frazier, continues to insist, “We know we acted responsibly.” Go figure.