Sat, October 9, 2004

Vioxx suit launched in Calgary

Calgary lawyers launched a province-wide class action lawsuit for Vioxx victims -- a little over a week after the popular arthritis and pain-killing drug was pulled from the global market. Studies have shown patients taking the drug, which was Canada's 10th most prescribed drug last year, were at significantly higher risk of complications such as heart attack, stroke, angina, blood clots and congestive heart failure. The drug has also been linked to liver and kidney damage.

The suit filed yesterday at Court of Queen's Bench names its plaintiff as a Calgary woman and former Vioxx-user said to have sustained significant heart damage, including enlargement of her heart which required intensive medical intervention and hospitalization.

The class-action case against Merck Frosst Canada & Co. and affiliated companies asks for general damages of $500,000 for each plaintiff as well as other damages.

"The defendants knew or ought to have known of the serious medical risks associated with Vioxx and failed to advise users and/or their treating medical professionals of the risks," the statement of claim states.

"In particular, they failed in Canada to warn of the medical risk in any of their Vioxx product information, unlike ... in the United States of America where their product information contained specific warnings in relation to cardiovascular complications."