Article Suggests Merck Hid Evidence of Vioxx’s Harmful Effects | DC Metro Area Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding member and senior partner

Our health is so important.  For some, it’s the most important thing in life.  So we need companies to manufacture medicines to maintain health and cure illness.  It is never acceptable, however, for a company to put profits over people.

Pharmalot (7/11, Silverman) reports that almost eight years after Merck removed Vioxx from the market “over links to heart attacks and strokes,” a new paper suggests that “the drugmaker hid evidence that Vioxx tripled the risk of cardiovascular death for more than three years before taking the pill off the market in 2004.” The authors of the paper say that instead of using an “intent-to-treat analysis” of the control studies, Merck instead relied on an “on-treatment analysis,” which is “not the preferred method for ferreting out potentially harmful side effects that may occur in a clinical trial.” Jerry Avorn, one of the co-authors, says “Intention-to-treat is the gold standard for evaluating clinical trial results” and “the information was never presented publicly and there was no oversight because none of the three Alzheimer’s trials had a Data Safety Monitoring Board that have might persuaded the drug-maker to include this information.” Merck has declined to respond specifically to the paper.

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About the author:

Mr. Zambri is a Board-Certified Civil Trial Attorney and Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. The association has recently named him the ” 2011 Trial Lawyer of the Year“.  He has also been acknowledged by Washingtonian magazine as a “Big Gun” and among the “top 1%” of all of the more than 80,000 lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area. The magazine also acknowledged him as “one of Washington’s best–most honest and effective lawyers” who specializes in medical malpractice matters, product liability claims, and serious automobile accident claims. Mr. Zambri was recently (2012 edition) acknowledged as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” by Best Lawyers, and has also been repeatedly named a “Super Lawyer” by Law and Politics magazine (2012)–a national publication that honors the top lawyers in the country.

Mr. Zambri is regularly asked to present seminars to lawyers and doctors, as well as both medical and law students concerning defective drugs, medication errors, medical malpractice litigation, and safety improvements.

If you have any questions about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at  You may also reach him at 202-822-1899.