Merck and Vioxx

Merck and Vioxx

In this case about Merck, some juries found the company liable for the injuries inflicted on the consumers. This is because the drugs manufactured and sold by Merck were found to be causing health problems. In product liability law, this will fall under the defective designed products.  The drugs were causing problems because of its normal ingredients and thus had been designed improperly. For a company like Merck, it has a responsibility to disclose any information about the safety of the drugs it manufactures.

In the case presented, it is evident that the company knew about the safety concerns of its drugs.  When Dr. Alise Reicin discovered a setback in the Vioxx, her findings were never disclosed to Food and Drug Administration or to the public. By doing this, the drug passed all the testing stages and opened its sales to the public posing a danger.  So if the afflicted party could prove that a specific health problem was caused by the drug, then the jury could easily find Merck liable.

However, some of the jury could also find the company not liable for the health problems. The reported problem was cardiovascular effects.  In normal circumstances, these kinds of problems occur naturally. In addition, it could be that an afflicted party used the drug without proper prescription from a doctor.  If Merck had directed the physicians on how to prescribe the drug but then a patient uses the drug without proper prescription, then Merck is not liable. In addition, an afflicted party had to prove that the cardiovascular problem was caused by the Merck drugs. It is clear that some plaintiffs were filling cases for people who had already died years ago. It would then be hard for such parties to show the cause of death to be the drugs from Merck.

In terms of being forthright, there are facts that are in favor of Merck. In the year 2002, the company added a warning in the bottles labels that with the risk of cardiovascular and stroke risks. The scientists agreed that the risk was not elevated until the drug was taken for eighteen months. In this case, it can be argued that the company was honest. In 2004 when an article was published in the medical journal circulation, the numbers in the study were based on a small number of cases and even an outside committee had concluded that the numbers were not statistically insignificant.

However, there are many facts that work against Merck in terms of being forthright. First, When Dr. Alise Reicin discovered a setback in the Vioxx; her findings were never disclosed to Food and Drug Administration or to the public. This finding was discovered at the third and last stage of testing and the company opted to not reveal the fact. In addition, even after the results of the study were revealed to the public, the company went ahead to and released a press statement claiming that Vioxx was heart protective. Again, the company only accepted that the drugs were defective after a number 120 % appeared in the safety committee meeting and the drugs were recalled.

In handling these issues, Merck should have considered what Dr. Alise Reicin had found. All the problems would have been avoided since her findings came at the early stages of drug testing. The company should have designed the drugs again at this stage to ensure they are safe. Dr. Alise had called the findings a set back and not failure meaning there was room for improvement. In addition, this information should have been available to the FDA for consideration.

There are other ethical issues that arise peripherally in this case. One is that it is that the company sold unsafe drugs to the public in an attempt to make profits. It is unethical for any pharmaceutical company to consider its interest first as opposed to consumer’s safety first.  Even

Do you need an Original High Quality Academic Custom Essay?