Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Merck and Vioxx: The Market Works......
if we have good information

One of the reasons we have laws against fraud and misleading advertising is that if consumers cannot trust the information provided to them, they will devote too many scarce resources to divining and confirming information in the marketplace. This basic economic principle lies at the heart of the US civil suit against Merck and Vioxx [h/t to BenS]:
Authors of a study funded by Vioxx maker Merck & Co. failed to disclose in a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2000 that three additional patients in a clinical study suffered heart attacks while using the now-withdrawn painkiller, the journal wrote in an editorial released Thursday.

The editorial, written by the journal's editor in chief, Dr. Jeffrey M. Drazen, executive editor Dr. Gregory D. Curfman and managing editor Stephen Morrissey, also alleges the study's authors deleted other relevant data before submitting their article for publication.

"Taken together, these inaccuracies and deletions call into question the integrity of the data on adverse cardiovascular events in this article," the doctors wrote. Excluding the three heart attacks "made certain calculations and conclusions in the article incorrect."
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