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VIOXX PULLED OFF MARKET...BOUT TIME...

n/an/a Member Posts: 168,427
edited September 2004 in General Discussion
Merck Pulls Arthritis Drug Off Market
Thu Sep 30, 2004 03:17 PM ET
By Ransdell Pierson


NEW YORK (Reuters) - Merck & Co Inc. on Thursday pulled its arthritis drug Vioxx off the market after a study showed it doubled the risk of heart attack and stroke, a move that sent its shares plunging and erased $25 billion from its market value.

The move, which led the company to cut its 2004 earnings forecast, could expose Merck to billions of dollars in legal liabilities at a time when it is already experiencing slower growth. It also calls into question the ability of Chief Executive Raymond Gilmartin to lead the company out of its troubles, analysts said.

"This company is on the scientific ropes and it just took a body blow in the market place," said Jim Hall, president of the life-sciences unit at Wood Mackenzie Inc. "There's no easy way for them to deal with this."

Vioxx, which has been used by 84 million people around the world since 1999, accounts for 10 percent of Merck's annual sales. It is part of a class of drugs known as COX-2 inhibitors. Pfizer Inc.'s Celebrex and Novartis AG's experimental drug Prexige are also members of this class.

While Celebrex and others have not been shown to cause cardiovascular damage, some observers say the withdrawal of Vioxx casts a cloud over the entire class. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it would watch other COX-2 inhibitors closely.

"This has implications for all members of this class," said Dr. Garret FitzGerald, chairman of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania.

Investors are concerned the risk may also extend to Merck's newer drug, Arcoxia, a COX-2 inhibitor that is already sold in 47 countries but is still awaiting approval in the United States. An FDA decision on the drug is expected by Oct. 30.

"We are going to be more interested in looking at long-term data on new products that come down the pike," said Steven Galson, acting director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

Concerns over Vioxx have been building for several years after earlier studies showed higher risk of heart attack and stroke, but Merck has always maintained that the drug, which last year had sales of $2.55 billion, was safe.

The decision to withdraw Vioxx came after a three-year trial showed patients taking the drug faced twice the risk of a heart attack or stroke after three years as patients taking a placebo. The risk did not appear until after 18 months, the company said. The trial was designed to see if Vioxx could prevent recurrence of colon polyps, which can become cancerous.

Merck is already facing lawsuits over Vioxx and those are likely to increase, analysts said, potentially opening the company to billions of dollars in liabilities.

"It's got to be bigger than fen-phen," said Hall, referring to Wyeth's recalled diet drug combination, which has already cost Wyeth $16 billion in charges to cover damages to people who claimed to have suffered heart damage. "Vioxx is a much bigger drug, so the exposure will be that much more."

Merck said it will defend itself vigorously against lawsuits.

"We have substantial defenses in these cases," said Kenneth Frazier, Merck's general counsel.

Despite the blow, members of Merck's board of directors said they stood behind the company's chief executive, and Gilmartin said he has no intention of resigning.

Board member Larry Bossidy said the company is looking both inside and outside the company for a potential successor to Gilmartin, who plans to retire in 2006.

"We think shareholders deserve to know we looked around for the best person we could find," Bossidy said.

The Vioxx recall comes as Merck is girding for the slated 2006 expiration of its U.S. patent on the cholesterol fighter Zocor, the company's top-selling product.

Merck said it expects costs associated with the Vioxx recall to reduce earnings by 50 cents to 60 cents per share in the second half of the year. It said it will give more financial details on Oct. 21.

Merck shares fell $12.27, or 27 percent, to $32.80 on the New York Stock Exchange. (Additional reporting by Toni Clarke, Bill Berkrot and Edward Tobin in New York, Debra Sherman in Chicago, and Lisa Richwine in Washington)



thank god its finally off the market....






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Lil' Stinker's Opinion

Comments

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    PJPJ Member Posts: 1,556 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Time to buy?
    Pete

    "Be kind to your neighbor, he knows where you live"
  • Options
    Red223Red223 Member Posts: 7,946
    edited November -1
    Doctors have been bribed to prescribe Vioxx for everything.

    I took it for quite awhile until I did some research on it.

    I hope they walk away with millions from that lawsuit. Putting peoples lives in jeopardy for pharmacuticals to get rich quick is unethical.....But it hasn't been illegal until they got proof people were dieing from it.

    Kerry003.jpg
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    allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 35,293 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Not surprising.
    The pharmaceutical industry bribes all the doctors.
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    paboogerpabooger Member Posts: 13,953
    edited November -1
    Is Celebrex next???

    pablue1.gif

    "Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional" Peter Egede Jeppesen
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    DancesWithSheepDancesWithSheep Member Posts: 12,938 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by pabooger
    Is Celebrex next???

    Nope. Viagra. Just hang-in there, pa.[:0]
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    bambihunterbambihunter Member Posts: 10,695 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I was on either vioxx or celebrex for probably 8 years or so. I just stopped taking them this past spring.
    This isn't exactly good news. [V]
    Fanatic collector of the 10mm auto.
  • Options
    eastwood44mageastwood44mag Member Posts: 2,655 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by DancesWithSheep
    quote:Originally posted by pabooger
    Is Celebrex next???

    Nope. Viagra. Just hang-in there, pa.[:0]


    That's pretty bad.

    O Lord,
    grant me the Serenity
    to accept the things
    I cannot change
    the courage to change the things I can,
    and the supreme firepower to make the difference.
  • Options
    Henry0ReillyHenry0Reilly Member Posts: 10,879 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I took it for quite awhile. I wonder if it contributed to the career changing blood clots in my leg.

    avitar.jpg
    Semper Fi

    Remember Ruby Ridge.

    Experience is the best teacher and usually charges accordingly.

    Lafayette.gif

    Not a member at the auction? Join Gunbroker at this link!
    I used to recruit for the NRA until they sold us down the river (again!) in Heller v. DC. See my auctions (if any) under username henryreilly
  • Options
    n/an/a Member Posts: 168,427
    edited November -1
    Celebrex will probably be off the market next as it too is linked to heart attacks.....There are already a number of lawsuits against the company.....
  • Options
    NighthawkNighthawk Member Posts: 12,022 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I doubt it contributed to your DVT's or Blood clots I think its a blood thinner.I would like to know the answer to your question and be 100% sure.Sorry to hear about your phlebitis or DVT(Deep Vein Thrombosis) which ever you had.I assume you take coumadin?Or rather rat poisen.



    Best!!

    Rugster




    "Toujours Pret"
  • Options
    Henry0ReillyHenry0Reilly Member Posts: 10,879 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by rugster
    I doubt it contributed to your DVT's or Blood clots I think its a blood thinner.I would like to know the answer to your question and be 100% sure.Sorry to hear about your phlebitis or DVT(Deep Vein Thrombosis) which ever you had.I assume you take coumadin?Or rather rat poison.


    I guess I was thinking that strokes are the result of clots. I originally spent 3 days on IV administered blood thinner, 2 months on coumadin tablets and now I take aspirin daily.

    avitar.jpg
    Semper Fi

    Remember Ruby Ridge.

    Experience is the best teacher and usually charges accordingly.

    Lafayette.gif

    Not a member at the auction? Join Gunbroker at this link!
    I used to recruit for the NRA until they sold us down the river (again!) in Heller v. DC. See my auctions (if any) under username henryreilly
  • Options
    Red223Red223 Member Posts: 7,946
    edited November -1
    Vioxx isn't a blood thinner, it's a blood clotter.

    Gives you strokes, heart attacks, etc.

    Kerry003.jpg
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    beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Red223
    Vioxx isn't a blood thinner, it's a blood clotter.

    Gives you strokes, heart attacks, etc.

    Kerry003.jpg


    Actually, these Cox-2 inhibitors are great drugs.

    They block inflammation like NSAIDS but without many of the side effects of GI upset, etc (I suppose they have others).

    If good old fashioned aspirin were put on the market today, the FDA would pull it fast. . .it makes people bleed to death.
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