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Merck admits Vioxx data error.

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Merck & Co., Inc., admitted last month that a key position it has taken regarding the safety of its arthritis drug Vioxx was based on faulty data. The drug maker said it had erred when it reported in early 2005 that a crucial statistical test showed that Vioxx caused heart problems only after 18 months of continuous use. In fact, the test showed that problems with the drug could occur in less time than 18 months, a position the drug's critics have contended for some time.

The company's admission is expected to play a key role in lawsuits from patients who say that Vioxx caused their heart attacks and strokes. Merck faces at least 11,500 such lawsuits, covering 23,000 people.
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Publication:Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2006
Words:122
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