Vioxx Case: Cardiovascular Problems

Imagine that you are a leader of a major pharmaceutical company Merck. Merck had planned Vioxx to be its next Blockbuster drug. What would you do if you knew that Vioxx caused Cardiovascular problems?

Discuss what Merck might have done when information came out that Vioxx caused Cardiovascular problems. Was it ethical for Merck to withdraw sponsorship of researchers who took issue with Merck’s marketing of Vioxx? And was it a good strategy? Compare Merck’s actions in influencing reported research results on Vioxx to the strategy of the tobacco companies in the 1950s, as they countered research that established a link between smoking and cancer.