U.S. Supreme Court allows suit over Vioxx risks

April 28, 2010

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that a shareholder lawsuit can proceed against Merck & Co., maker of the blockbuster drug Vioxx.  At issue in the case is whether Merck provided doctors and patients with enough information about the drug’s risks.  Merck shareholders lost a combined $28 billion overnight when problems with Vioxx became inescapable.

After FDA warnings, Vioxx was pulled from the market because it dangerously increased patients’ risks of heart attack, stroke and death.  Merck has since been sued by numerous patients and survivors who have suffered serious medical conditions they believe was caused by Vioxx.  Several insurance companies have also sued Merck for reimbursement of the costs for covering prescriptions of this drug.

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