If a pharmaceutical company could allegedly be engaged in these kinds of behaviors for one drug, imagine the potential liability they could have for their other drugs.
A prominent cardiologist testifying in Merck & Co.’s federal trial over Vioxx accused the drug maker of engaging in scientific misconduct, suppressing clinical evidence and stifling medical discourse as it promoted the painkiller.
Dr. Eric Topol, chairman of the cardiovascular medicine department of the Cleveland Clinic, called certain aspects of Merck’s behavior “repulsive” and “appalling” during a three-hour videotaped deposition played for the jury Saturday.
Topol said Vioxx can cause heart attacks any time after a patient begins taking it, and that its risks were apparent as early as 1999, when the drug was approved. Vioxx was removed from the market last year after a study showed it doubled patients’ risk of heart attacks and strokes after 18 months of use.