Manufacturer Withdraws VioxxOct 6, 2004 | Patuxent River Tester,
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Merck & Co., Inc. has announced a voluntary worldwide withdrawal of Vioxx (rofecoxib), its arthritis and acute pain medication.
Published Sept. 30, the company's decision, is based on data from a clinical trial on the prevention of colon polyps in which "there was an increased relative risk for confirmed cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke, beginning after 18 months of treatment in the patients taking Vioxx compared to those taking placebo." Although the drug has been removed from the market, the Food and Drug Administration has noted that the risk to patients taking this medication is very small.
In the interest of patient safety, military pharmacies will no longer fill prescriptions for Vioxx. Additionally, prescriptions for Vioxx will not be accepted at either the TRICARE mail order pharmacy or network retail pharmacies.