Vioxx Victims Lose US Court Bid ~ OPOLAW Injury Blog

Saturday, October 7, 2006

Vioxx Victims Lose US Court Bid

A New Jersey court has ruled that hundreds of British patients who claim to have had heart attacks after taking controversial anti-inflammatory drug Vioxx must challenge pharmaceutical company Merck in the United Kingdom instead of in the United States. Vioxx, a drug created to combat pain caused by arthritis, was withdrawn from the market in 2004 when a study showed that the risk of heart attacks and strokes doubled for patients who took the drug for more than 18 months. Lawyers representing the British patients are extremely upset with the ruling, stating that their clients have been refused legal aid and insurers in the United Kingdom will not fund no-win, no-fee cases. Solicitor Sallie Booth, whose firm Irwin Mitchell represents almost 100 claimants in the UK, says, "This is hugely disappointing for UK victims of this drug. "Whilst they should not be forced to look to a foreign jurisdiction to determine their cases, the restricted availability of funding for claimants in group actions in this country, especially public funding is having the effect of denying these people proper access to justice. "However we will now carefully review all alternative options for our clients. Drug companies must realize the huge responsibility they have to produce safe and reliable drugs. "Profit cannot come before safety, their very business is to produce the solution they must not become the problem." Merck was suspended this week from the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, and is facing more than 21,000 worldwide claims from Vioxx users who claim the drug made them ill. There were around 500,000 people taking Vioxx in the United Kingdom when Merck removed the drug from the market.

No comments:

Post a Comment