Vioxx Found to Cause Heart Attack or Stroke!
The paradigm of traditional medical treatment, using drugs and surgery first, is failing and falling apart from the seams. Unfortunately, traditional medical care often ignores or is not set up to help with prevention. Rather, our entire system is designed to treat symptoms not the cause! The most recent example of this came suddenly when Vioxx was taken off the shelves.
According to a recent Times article, thanks to Merck, a pharmaceutical giant, Vioxx became one of the most popular prescription medications to treat Arthritis. The Cox–2 inhibitor was supposed to be safer than over the counter remedies like Aspirin, Ibuprofen and Naproxen (Aleve). Thanks to their very aggressive multibillion dollar marketing campaign, more than 20 million Americans took Vioxx at least once. The drug earned Merck $2.5 billion in world wide sales last year and accounted for 11% of Merck’s revenue! (Time, 11 October 2004)
An independent panel concluded that taking the drug for more than 18 months doubled the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke! (Time, 11 October 2004) Following the announcement, Wall Street’s reaction was brutal! Merck’s chief executive announced that their earnings could shrink as much as 20%. (Time, 11 October 2004) It’s stock immediately lost $28 billion of its market value. I can’t even begin to tell you how many zeros that is!
How does one drug, without a proven record, become this powerful? It is very scary when you can have one of the most powerful drug companies in the world go down like this with the fate of just one drug. Remember, Celebrex is a Cox–2 inhibitor and in the same class as Vioxx. Should you stop taking this medication? That needs to be addressed with your medical doctor. Don’t wait, discuss it now, it’s your health!