It’s been charged that FDA officials pressured Dr. David Graham, the lead scientist on the study linking Vioxx to over 27,000 fatal heart attacks, to keep quiet or water down his conclusions. In Senate committee testimony, Dr. Graham described an FDA environment where he was “ostracized” and subjected to “veiled threats” and “intimidation.”
Richard Horton, editor of the British medical journal The Lancet, criticized both Merck and the FDA for acting out of “ruthless, short-sighted and irresponsible self-interest. The licensing of Vioxx and its continued use in the face of unambiguous evidence of harm have been public-health catastrophes.”
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