(NaturalNews) “We may need to seek them out and destroy them where they live,” wrote a Merck & Co. employee who was actively plotting to murder or discredit doctors who had voiced concerns regarding the adverse health effects of an anti-inflammatory drug called Vioxx.
Launched in 1999, Vioxx was extremely popular (with more than 80 million users worldwide), as its makers heralded the drug as being the answer to inflammation, minus the nausea that often follows with anti-inflammatory medication.
It was later discovered that the New Jersey-based Merck & Co. was knowingly selling a drug that frequently caused heart attacks and strokes in its unsuspecting victims. A study revealed that Vioxx actually doubled the risk of heart attacks and strokes, prompting the company to voluntary withdraw the drug from the market in 2004.
Prior to the drug being pulled from the market, several Merck & Co. staff exchanged emails in which they discussed a “hit list” they drafted of doctors whom they believed needed to be “neutralised” or “discredited” due to their criticism of Vioxx.
Merck & Co. long history of harassing and threatening those who stand in the way of drug profits
The emails surfaced in court after 58-year-old Graeme Peterson claimed the drug caused him to have a heart attack in 2003 after taking the medication for three years to treat his back pain and arthritis.
Merck & Co. and its Australian subsidiary, Merck Sharpe & Dohme, were sued for damages by more than 1,000 Australians (and many others in the US), who claimed that they suffered heart attacks and strokes at the hands of Vioxx.
The court ruled in Peterson’s favor, allotting him just under $300,000 in compensation; however, the ruling was reversed in 2010 by an appeal panel in Federal Court in Melbourne.
The court said it wasn’t proven that Vioxx caused Peterson’s heart attack, despite accusations that the American pharmaceutical company misconstrued Vioxx’s health risks in medical literature, advertisements and statements to doctors by sales representatives.