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Research shows Vioxx study was actually a marketing tool

A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that ADVANTAGE, a study by Merck & Co. for the drug Vioxx, was a marketing campaign framed as science.

The four authors of the study are all physicians who have served as expert witnesses in court cases brought against Merck in connection with Vioxx. They studied Merck internal and external correspondence, reports, and presentations.

They found that the trial was designed by Merck's marketing division to fulfill a marketing objective. Merck's marketing division handled both the scientific and the marketing data, including collection, analysis, and dissemination.

LA Times writer Melissa Healy wrote about the study in the blog Booster Shots.