November 8, 2005
Merck & Co. won a major victory in the battle over its Vioxx painkiller when a New Jersey state jury found the drug-maker properly warned consumers about the risks of the medication. The finding means Merck won't be held liable for the 2001 heart attack suffered by a man taking Vioxx.
I’m no expert on these sorts of things, but that doesn’t stop me from having opinions. The left for years has trashed the pharmaceutical companies as profiting off the misery of others. What they and their media friends don’t tell you is how much money it takes for a drug company to bring a new drug to market. Neither do they tell you the hoops they have to jump through to win FDA approval, or the legal problems they often face with lawyers anxious to file malpractice suits, thus driving up their insurance costs.
And what about the benefits of many of these modern drugs that cure the sick and help others from getting sick? We rarely hear about the benefits, only the occasional problem.
The lawyers saw Merck as a convenient target with the potential for making them a lot of money. They lost this case, but that doesn’t mean they won’t try again.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.