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Merck appeals rofecoxib verdict

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39157.476910.DB (Published 22 March 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:607
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York

    Merck will appeal against the decision that a New Jersey state court jury made on 12 March to award compensatory and punitive damages of $47.5m (£24.4m; €35.7m) to an Idaho man, Frederick Humeston, and his wife Mary, for a heart attack he had in 2001, when he was 56.

    The damages, awarded after the retrial of an earlier case that Mr Humeston lost, were $18m to Mr Humeston, $2m to his wife, and $27.5 in punitive damages. The jury decided that Merck was negligent in not warning Mr Humeston of the risk of taking rofecoxib (Vioxx).

    Merck voluntarily withdrew rofecoxib, a cyclo-oxygenase-2 inhibitor, from the market on 30 September 2004 because it increased the risk of heart attacks and strokes (BMJ 2005;329:816).

    Merck faces more than 27 000 …

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