Mary Bartkus, ‘The Cost to Society of Pharmaceutical Mass Tort Litigation’

This lecture for the Foundation for Law, Justice and Society, at Wolfson College, University of Oxford, addresses the cost to society of pharmaceutical mass tort litigation, nearly 15 years after the withdrawal by Merck & Co, Inc of Vioxx® (rofecoxib) from markets worldwide. When Merck withdrew Vioxx based on an increased relative risk of thrombotic cardiovascular events seen in the APPROVe study in ‘the interests of patients’ and ‘as the responsible course to take’, the company’s stock dropped nearly 27%; it took a charge of more than $US726m to effect the withdrawal; physicians prescribed alternative pain relievers in the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) class such as celecoxib, diclofenac, ibuprofen, and naproxen that did not have rofecoxib’s gastrointestinal safety data; governments investigated the company; …

Bartkus, Mary E, The Cost to Society of Pharmaceutical Mass Tort Litigation (June 11, 2019).

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