Injury & Accident Compensation Resources
Pfizers Bextra Faces Its First Lawsuit
For years, Merck has been under scrutiny for a number of drugs, most recently Vioxx. The recall of Vioxx has shares down by more than 40 percent and facing hundreds of lawsuits that could cost them billions of dollars. However, Merck is not alone in the scrutiny that this pharmaceutical company faces. Pfizer, the maker of Bextra and Celebrex, painkillers in the same family as Vioxx, is facing similar legal problems. The question being asked is whether Bextra and Celebrex increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Although Pfizer has avoided much of the negative publicity in newspapers and radio as compared to Merck, the question still stands as to whether the problems with Vioxx extend to similar medicines taken by millions of consumers. Although these pharmaceutical companies claim to have drugs that relieve chronic arthritis pain without causing ulcers, what other side effects may be the result?
Susan Raymond is filing a suit claiming her husband, age 46, died from a heart attack after taking Pfizer?s Bextra for only 10 months. Jerrold Parker, an attorney at Parker & Waichman in Great Neck, N.Y. will be representing her.
Despite this incident, Pfizer challenges the negative effects that Bextra may have had, claiming that large, long-term studies demonstrate that although Bextra and Celebrex are in the same family of Cox-2 inhibitors, that they do not hold the same risk. Pfizer goes on to add that the two smaller studies that show risks associated with Bextra were limited to patients that had undergone open heart surgery and therefore, do not represent the risks to the average patient.
At a major medical meeting, two leading researchers presented evidence that Bextra carries the same elevated risk of heart attack and stroke as other Cox-2 inhibitors. They criticized Pfizer for failing to notify the public of the scientific data relating to its risks. In turn, Pfizer said the findings were flawed. Although the effects of Bextra remain an immense debate, medical experts have and will continue to raise questions about the safety of Bextra and this class of medicines.
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