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Merck Spins Vioxx Risks, Again

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You can’t believe everything you read, even in Medical Journals. Merck deliberately withheld information about three heart attacks from its data when the New England Journal of Medicine reported on VIoxx in March of 2000. Recently, Merck’s spin machine is citing new data about patients who stopped using Vioxx after its recall to suggest that it reinforces Merck’s argument that only patients exposed to Vioxx for 18 months are at greater risk of heart attacks or strokes. However, doctors critical of Merck see the same data and conclude that the increased risk begins after only 4 months. This continuing trend by Merck to put business before safety is very disturbing.