April 28th, 2014
Why the Courts Should Know What Pharmaceutical Reps Tell Doctors
By Brenda Craig
Lawyers and Settlements
Houston, TX: The story of the drug Vioxx speaks volumes about the way drug companies market their products to consumers and to the doctors that ultimately prescribe those drugs. In 2005, a year after Merck withdrew its anti-inflammatory drug, Vioxx, from the market because of its four-fold link to heart attack and stroke, a government committee in Washington asked some pointed questions about what pharmaceutical representatives told physicians about Vioxx and its possible dangers to patients.
The answers offered a tiny but powerful peek into the world of pharmaceutical sales. The pages and pages of testimony revealed the aggressive and deceptive sales tactics Merck pharmaceutical representatives used to soft-pedal Vioxx and its risks to doctors and dodge questions about side effects listed on the Vioxx label.