By Carolyn Abraham
From Tuesday's Globe and Mail
Vioxx, the blockbuster arthritis and pain medication pulled off the market last September, could have killed more than 40,000 people in the United States, according to an FDA scientist who has said his employer silenced his earlier warnings about the drug's safety.
David Graham, associate director of science for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Office of Drug Safety and lead author of a study published on-line by The Lancet yesterday, found that Vioxx raised a person's risk of coronary heart disease by 34 per cent, compared with other anti-inflammatory drugs, including Celebrex, its onetime rival in the class of drugs known as cox-2 inhibitors.
(Celebrex has also been linked to heart attacks at high doses).