Vioxx Class Action Update-June 15, 2005

Presently Wilder Wilder & Langtry is working with a group of law firms across Canada to establish a national class action proceeding againstMerck Frosst Canada Ltd., Merck Frosst Canada & Co. and Merck & Co., Inc, the makers of VIOXX. Extensive meetings and discussions have taken place over the past months in this regard. The goal of establishing a national class action would be to pool efforts and resources in order to more effectively prosecute the action against Merck. It is important to note that Manitoba class members will be protected and no individual class member’s rights will be sacrificed under a national class action. Please continue to check this website for updates in this regard.

Locally, at this time we are contacting our class members’ physicians, hospitals and pharmacies to obtain cost quotes for medical records. We may have been in touch with you in this regard. This process is quite extensive and will take some time to complete, however, it is important that we obtain medical records at this juncture. If you haven’t done so already, obtain your pharmacy records immediately because many pharmacies do not keep records for more than a few years.

Some class members may have seen in the news that a committee of the FDA in the United States has recommended that VIOXX be permitted back on the market. In Canada, the federal Department of Health commissioned an expert panel to hear public and scientific opinions in order to make recommendations on the safety, efficacy and future marketing of all COX-2 inhibitors (including VIOXX). The hearing took place on June 9 and 10, 2005 in Ottawa. The panel’s recommendations are not yet completed, but you may view all the panel’s materials on their website by clicking this link:

While there is no indication at this point that VIOXX will be allowed back on the market in Canada, we have had a number of inquiries as to whether this affects the strength of our class action against Merck in Canada. We believe that this will not impact our class action. It remains our view and that of our group across Canada that Merck did not take adequate steps to warn users of VIOXX, particularly in Canada, of the risks associated with the drug. Accordingly, we are moving full-steam ahead with our action.

Should any class members wish to discuss the action or obtain any further information please feel free to email us at the addresses below: