Ask Dave Taylor: Tech and Business


The Merck Vioxx lawsuit spam begins

I've been writing about the massive threat of the impending lawsuits against Merck due to its apparent reluctance to pull its blockbuster Vioxx medicine off the shelves once there were indications that it had harmful side effects. It's a huge liability problem and I believe will change the very face of Big Pharma, with some significant consequences for health care in the long term. You can read about some of my earlier musings on this subject in Merck's Vioxx Liability: The Death of Big Pharma?

I also thought that, of all things, the John Grishman pulp novel The King of Torts offered some interesting insight into the cut-throat world of tort and class action lawsuits, albeit in a fictional world.

Put these two together and it's no surprise at all that the specter of a huge legal case and massive class action tort suit against one of the largest companies in the United States is pulling the lawyers out of the woodwork. Indeed, search on Google for Vioxx or Merck and you'll find that all the advertisements are about the upcoming lawsuits, hoping to entice Vioxx users to sign on with one class action team or another.

In this environment of sharks circling, it should be no surprise that ...