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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: Twitter: Dereklowe

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February 20, 2005

COX-2 Aftermath

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Posted by Derek

Overall, I found the conclusionsn of the FDA's COX-2 committee quite reasonable (and not too far from what I predicted during the day on Friday.) Perhaps their actions will calm things down a bit. After all, they had the chance to bay at the moon, yank everything off the market and call for heads on pikes. But they ended up saying (I'm paraphrasing just a bit): "Y'know, these drugs really do have side effects. But a lot of stuff does. And they do some people some good. Maybe if just the people who really need them take them, things will work themselves out."

This all should make Merck's path forward in their Vioxx lawsuits a little easier. They could still face a punitive-damages avalanche, of course, and a lot of lawyers will be working to get the snowpack loosened up. I assume that the first case will be tried in Mississippi, Texas, or some other jury award paradise - picking the right venue is part of the art.

I'm just glad that the "Toxic drugs! Film at eleven!" momentum has been lost. I think that the industry, the stock market, the public, and (most definitely) the press were really close to panic there for a bit. (Naturally enough, in the last case, since panic sells.) But outside of advertising revenue, it does no one any good. If you make the right decision in that frame of mind, it's generally by accident.

Comments (2) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Cardiovascular Disease


1. John Thacker on February 21, 2005 1:27 PM writes...

"I assume that the first case will be tried in Mississippi, Texas, or some other jury award paradise - picking the right venue is part of the art."

Possibly not. The recently passed and signed Class Action Fairness Act curtails venue shopping by quite a lot. Basically it removes to federal court class action lawsuits which consist of people in several states suing over behavior in several states. No longer can people forum shop by having one named member of the class being from the named state.

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2. John Wurzelmann on February 22, 2005 10:44 AM writes...

In a somewhat related aside, Why is it that the public or industry professionals have to pay for electronic access to advisory meetings such as just took place? It seems to me at the least that an audio feed, either live streaming or off-line format (MP3) should be available at the FDA or elsewhere. After all the FDA is supported by Tax payer money. Let's hear it for transparency in government. Perhaps the blogosphere, with its legendary political clout, can start a groundswell of enthusiasm for democratic reform of this public forum. I know transcripts will eventually be available, but I'd rather listen at my computer while otherwise multi-tasking.

John W

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