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Merck & Co. Inc. Message Board

  • captzorro_2000 captzorro_2000 Dec 11, 2005 10:23 AM Flag

    Is this for real?

    A Merck-sponsored study could have reached the same conclusion, but before the manuscript was submitted to the New England Journal of Medicine, key data were removed using a Merck computer, making Vioxx appear less dangerous. On Thursday, the Journal posted an online ''expression of concern," alerting physicians to the withholding of information from that report.

    Topol was stripped of leadership posts at Cleveland Clinic's medical school, punishment for his testimony in the Irvin case two days earlier, he told The New York Times. ''No wonder nobody stands up to the industry," he said.

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    • This reminds me of the Watetgate affair it just keeps getting worst by the day.

    • I just read that part of the Boston Globe article too. I am not sure if you are referring to Topol's demotion or the "data removal".

      The NEJM article is interesting. Here is my take on the issue. First is there were three deaths. All three were beyond the specified cutoff date. All articles and trials have this. The article was presented on the data and timeframe noted.

      The three deaths were immediately reported to the FDA. These three deaths were in no way hidden. Just not included in the data set presented in the NEJM. Data surronding the inclusion of the three deaths was presented and discussed at major medical meetings. MRK did not try to "hide" these events.

      Now the high and mighty NEJM sees an opportunity for press. Someone correct me.

      • 4 Replies to retireonmee
      • http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000103&sid=a4w3xzTac7A4&refer=news_in
        dex


        >>Cleveland Clinic officials stripped the cardiologist of leadership posts at the clinic's medical school two days after he told jurors in the Irvin case about his Vioxx conclusions.

        Topol told the New York Times today that he believed his demotion might be related to his testimony in the Irvin case.

        ``The hardest thing in the world is just trying to tell the truth, to do the right thing for patients, and you still get vilified,'' Topol told the Times.

        Plaintiffs' lawyers contend Merck complained about Topol's Vioxx conclusions in 2004 to the head of the clinic's board of directors. They say it's part of the company's campaign to ``drown out'' the drug's critics. <<

        Merck has long history of suppressing the media, so I wouldn't be surprised to find that they're responsible for Dr. Topols demotion.

      • captzorro_2000, msg 112852 said:
        First is there were three deaths. All three were beyond the specified cutoff date. All articles and trials have this. The article was presented on the data and timeframe noted.

        The three deaths were immediately reported to the FDA. These three deaths were in no way hidden. Just not included in the data set presented in the NEJM. Data surronding the inclusion of the three deaths was presented and discussed at major medical meetings. MRK did not try to "hide" these events.
        *********************

        I think the facts are far more evil:
        1. The 3 subjects did NOT die. You might think this less serious, HOWEVER, these 3 subjects were in an extremely LOW risk group, so should not have experienced any problems.

        2. Merk intentionally hiding the 3 incidents makes Vioxx appear much safer than it was from that study, rather than reflecting the higher risk of Vioxx vs. competing products.

        3. That the info was reported to the FDA was not important, because MDs base their decisions on published peer-reviewed articles, which in this case was tainted.

        4. It is standard procedure to amend submitted / published articles with updated data. But in this case, MRK already had the info BEFORE submitting the article (per court documents), so the charge is that MRK REMOVED the data before publication.

      • retireonmee, i couldn't agree more....

      • Yes, and the problem is if there's a criminal conspiracy how high does it go?

 
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