Merck, the FDA, and the Vioxx Recall
Back in 2005, Merck was described as a unique force in the pharmaceutical industry; its leadership in profits, sales, assets, and market value was recognized by investors and respected by competitors. Society in general had a favorable reception for the company due to their different acts of generosity, like the eternal donation of Mectizan to patients suffering of red blindness. In addition, the company has demonstrated high ethical standards together with high levels of responsibility to society positioning the company in a privileged position where professionals and consumers where equally please.
Later in 2006 everything started to change for Merck; the company’s stellar positioned was shaken by the imminent recall of one of its best sellers, a “blockbuster drug” under the name of Vioxx. This prescription painkiller has been under clinical study for a period of three years and it has been reported that the drug could cause an increment in heart attacks and strokes among users.
Immediately after the recall of Vioxx, the company started to receive all kinds of criticisms and accusations that escalated to multiple law suits, losses in share value, reputation damage and more. The company’s integrity was questionable by everyone including the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Merck was obligated to confront an innumerable amount of allegations for deceiving consumers, investors, the government and others. Many of the company’s practices were carefully dissected by interested parties that were trouble by the company’s unethical behavior. The company’s level of culpability needed to be proven by analyzing different processes’ efficacy and reliability; such processes include marketing, advertising, development, testing and drug recall.
Pharmaceutical companies are able to sell generic and/or brand...
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