Merck Dodges the Australian Bullet

While most US Vioxx cases have settled Merck continues to battle people who developed heart attacks after taking Vioxx. The following report came out of Australia today.


SYDNEY – (AP) — An Australian court on Wednesday overturned a judgment that found the once-popular painkiller Vioxx doubled the risk of heart attack and was unfit for consumption.

The Federal Court’s decision reverses a 2010 ruling that had found in favor of an Australian man who blamed the since-recalled drug for a heart attack he suffered. The court said the man, a former smoker, was susceptible to a heart attack independent of taking the drug.

The 2010 judgment — which awarded Graeme Peterson 287,000 Australian dollars ($285,000) in compensation — had opened the door for claims from hundreds of other litigants in a lawsuit against U.S. pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. over the arthritis painkiller