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In 2001, the American Medical Association missed an opportunity to warn the public about the potential danger of Merck’s drug Vioxx, according to a front page story in the Wall St. Journal. According to the Journal article, “Dr. Hrachovec had been reviewing data on a Food and Drug Administration Web site indicating that patients in a Vioxx clinical trial had suffered more heart attacks than the journal article about the trial reported. “It bothers me there is more data from the trial than has ever been published and the New England Journal still hasn’t published an editorial or any kind of update,” she said. “My concern is that doctors are still using this and exposing their patients to higher risks of heart problems and they just don’t even know that that’s the case.”

If the warning had been published, one can only imagine the amount of suffering that could have been avoided. What a shame!

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