Merck Vioxx Paper

Topics: Clinical trial, Cardiovascular disease, Rofecoxib Pages: 2 (710 words) Published: October 20, 2011
In the year 2000, Merck produced a controversial product called Vioxx. Four years later it gained worldwide attention because of the drug’s potential cardiovascular risks. This was detrimental to the company’s reputation because it was alleged Merck knowingly distributed Vioxx despite its risk. Both Barbara Martinez and Anne W. Mathews of the Wall Street Journal wrote articles into the investigation of Vioxx. Their article suggests Merck knew the dangers of Vioxx at an early stage of its clinical trials. This information is derived from Edward Scolnick’s email to colleagues, that “the cardiovascular events are clearly there" and called it a "shame."He compared Vioxx to other drugs with known side effects and wrote, “there is always a hazard” (Martinez, Mathews, 2004). Further complications arose for Merck when Richard Horton from the Lance published an article about Merck’s marketing document labeled “Dodge Ball Vioxx” (Horton 2004). This document was intended for the company’s sales representatives which, discussed how to respond to questions about Vioxx. In order to refute the arguments brought up by the Wall Street journalists and Richard Horton, Merck published their own Open Letters. In the Open Letters, Merck used three strategies to try and counter the negative press over its handling of Vioxx. Their persuasive strategies focused on the company’s good sense and knowledge, good moral character, and good will. Merck’s first strategy points to their good sense and knowledge of the medicine which serves to regain credibility and to establish the company as a professional organization. In the rebuttal they specifically point out Vioxx was studied both before and after getting FDA approval. By taking this approach, the company attempts to build consumer confidence and show its knowledge of their product. In addition, Merck attempts to build integrity among its employees by pointing out their policies and formal training programs. Next, Merck...
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