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Federal Jury Rules in Favor Merck
NEW ORLEANS


A federal jury ruled in favor Merck & Co. Inc. on Tuesday in a lawsuit over the painkiller Vioxx, finding there was not enough evidence to link the drug to a Kentucky man's heart attack.

The jury, made up of six women and two men, deliberated for only about two hours before reaching a verdict in the case.

Robert Garry Smith, 56, claimed in U.S. District Court that the drug contributed to a heart attack he had 3 1/2 years ago. He had taken Vioxx for knee pain for about 4 1/2 months but didn't realize at the time of the heart attack that Vioxx may have been a cause for concern.

Vioxx went on the market in 1999; Merck pulled it two years ago, after a study found a greater risk of heart attack in those who had taken the drug continually for at least 18 months than in those who had taken placebos.

Smith's case is the third federal lawsuit against Merck to go to trial; it began two weeks ago.

Including the verdict Tuesday, the drugmaker so far has amassed a five-and-four record in state and federal courts in Vioxx-related cases. A sixth case Merck won was overturned by a judge and is set to be retried. At least 14,200 cases are pending nationwide.

Source Breitbart.com