Studies Reveal How Merck & Co., Inc.'s Vioxx Raises Heart Risks

Published: May 04, 2012

After almost 13 years of study and intense debate, researchers have shed light on exactly how a once-popular class of anti-inflammatory drugs leads to cardiovascular risk for people taking it. It has been almost eight years since Vioxx was withdrawn by Merck from the market, provoking an intense controversy about the role inhibitors of the enzyme COX-2 play in causing heart attacks and strokes. Since then, other drugs in the class from Pfizer, Novartis, and Merck have been withdrawn (Bextra); have failed to be approved (Arcoxia, Prexige); or have been retained on the market in the US with a "black box" warning on the label (Celebrex).

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