Freedom Update with Byron Richards
Merck Spends 1 Billion to Silence Vioxx Complaints
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Byron Richards, CCN
Merck’s Vioxx pain killer needlessly killed anywhere from 50,000 to 150,000 people. It was allowed on the market by the FDA even though FDA managers knew there were major problems. Merck certainly knew there were major problems. Those who were seriously injured or the families of those who were killed have sought monetary damages from Merck, rather than criminal prosecution of Merck executives and FDA managers.
Merck countered by using a strategy of fighting every single case in court. The New York Times reports that to date Merck has spent 1 billion on legal defense and has not paid out a penny in any cases it has lost. The initial estimate of Merck’s liability was 25 billion. Their aggressive strategy has reduced that estimate to 5 billion, with no sign of Merck paying out monetary damages any time soon.
Merck’s strategy is certainly a sign of things to come – an example for other drug companies to follow when a scandal blows up in their face. Since Congress is doing nothing to stop this insanity it will be up to citizens to press for criminal charges against drug company and FDA executives, such as involuntary manslaughter. Otherwise, drug companies simply consider legal expenses part of the cost of doing business. Drug companies have proven time and again that they will choose profit over risks, even when the risks are known to be deadly.
The best strategy for consumers is to just quit taking the poisons that are killing 100,000 Americans per year and seriously injuring 3 million others. NEVER USE DRUGS FOR PREVENTION OF ANYTHING. In order to do that people will have to figure out how to be reasonably healthy. The drug-based paradigm of health is a complete and utter failure.