Friday, August 29, 2008
"A 1999 clinical study that Merck & Co. said was done to test side effects of the painkiller Vioxx was, in fact, conducted primarily to support a marketing campaign before the drug's launch, according to a study being published Tuesday. Researchers said their findings, based on internal Merck records disclosed during litigation, are among the first to document what many scientists suspect is a wider industry practice of using studies masquerading as clinial science to bolster marketing plans. ... Among the critics of the Merck study was Edward Scolnick, Merck's head of research at the time. According to a memo in the new report, he considered such a study as 'intellectually redundant' and 'extremely dangerous' because it could yield data that might compromise results of more-meaningful clinical trials", WSJ, 19 August 2008.
If so, what will the FDA, SEC and DOJ do about this? See also my 9 June 2008 post on Merck.