By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
April 12, 2007
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A painkiller proposed as a successor to Vioxx should not be approved, a panel of federal health advisers overwhelmingly recommended Thursday.
The nonbinding 20-1 vote was on the prescription drug Arcoxia, made by Merck & Co., Inc.
A Food and Drug Administration drug safety expert had told the panel the drug may increase substantially the risk of stroke and heart attack and is no more effective for pain relief than other medicines in the same class.
''What you're talking about is a potential public health disaster,'' Dr. David Graham told the outside experts before the vote. Graham was a leading critic of Vioxx, a related drug also known as rofecoxib.
''We could have a replay of what we had with rofecoxib,'' Graham said.