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Two British law firms set to launch compensation claims for victims of the Vioxx scandal in Britain rather than in the US. So far, there are 50 potential claimants in Britain with more expected. Over 300 law suits have been launched in the US. Vioxx was withdrawn from the market after long term research indicated that the drug could increase the risk of heart attack and stroke if used for more than 18 months. Vioxx was used to treat osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and pain. It claimed to have fewer side effects such as stomach bleeding and other gastrointestinal problems compared to its competitors. The manufacturer, Merck, is facing a huge financial burden after it was revealed that they were aware of the risks of taking the drug years ago. It was also relieved that the risk increased even if the drug was only used for several months. An estimated 80 million people have used Vioxx since it was released and it is believed to have been a factor in about 28,000 heart attacks in the US in 1999-03.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by The Guardian
About: Vioxx lawsuits to be filed in Britain
Date: 24 November 2004
Source: The Guardian
Author: Clare Dyer
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