It's damned hard to love a Big Pharmaceutical company—especially if you viewed John LeCarré's latest, The Constant Gardener. Moreover, I don't know the details of the Vioxx lawsuit which Merck effectively won today.
What I can say is that with Great Gain comes some Pain. I do not take lightly the death of a single human being from Vioxx, if indeed that were the case. I do believe that if a drug dramatically helps millions, one must, for better or worse, expect a little downside. I do not want to see clinical trials for new drugs extended forever and ever. And subsequent approval extended forever and ever. Perhaps it's a function of age, but I want demonstrated good stuff available even if there is a minute chance of attendant harm. As in: Welcome to Life 101. Right now I have a couple of docs fighting about a drug that might help me with a minor problem. One is conservative. One is aggressive. The med that the aggressive one wants to use has a few low-odds side effects. I don't know how I'll decide, but I damn well appreciate having the two options.
(Truth in lending: I was a temporary Vioxx user, following a bout of knee pain a few years ago. It worked.)
Before blogging became all the rage, Tom was posting book reviews and Observations (essentially early blog posts) to this site. You can find the archives below.
What we're talking about
on the front page.