1. I believe that Merck was completely responsible for everything that came along with releasing Vioxx to the public. The signs that the drug might not be as safe as they had hoped for should have been enough for them to halt on the release. It was unethical thing they did was not do all the research to find out how serious the effects of the drug really were.
2. Merck should have run more tests and found out the severity of the symptoms, and seen what they could have do to fix it, or minimize it as much as possibly. This may have prevented a great deal of illnesses related to Vioxx and maybe even prevented the eventual recall.
3. Society can protect customers by adding restrictions on how companies can promote drugs to consumers, as well as requiring how much information the company has to give out about side effects and risks. The allowance of DTC promotion was a big change in the prescription drug industry, and changed how consumers purchased particular drugs. Physicians can only do so much, as noted in the text, when it comes to giving their customers what they want. So the responsibility goes back to the pharmaceutical companies, and the policy makers.
4. I am not familiar with all of the present system, but I feel like there should be way more laws to protect the consumers with prescription drugs. Currently the laws protect the pharmaceutical companies, and allow them to give out minimal risk information to consumers through their advertisement. Furthermore, the FDA testing should be stricter. When hearing a drug ad, and there is a long list of risks at the end of the commercial, including heart attacks and even death, it is disturbing. The fact that the government allows drugs like these on the market leaves stomachs uneasy.