"A U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel meeting in Gaithersburg, Maryland, voted 17-15 that the benefits of Vioxx may outweigh its link to heart attacks and strokes in some patients. Earlier today, the panel voted to keep Pfizer Inc.'s similar painkiller Celebrex on the market, also with a warning highlighted in a black box on its label." (Bloomberg)
Back on Nov. 18, our editor linked to a Wall Street Journal editorial arguing that the Vioxx withdrawal might have been a mistake. See also our postings Oct. 4, Nov. 9, Nov. 18, Dec. 18, Dec. 27, Dec. 31, Jan. 5, Jan. 27, and Feb. 8.
Aside from allowing back on the market a drug deemed highly valuable by some of its consumers, what is the impact of the decision? The Bloomberg report quotes Steven Sean Hill, who manages a $3.5 billion fund at First Investor's Corp., as saying "I would think that it's going to make it harder for lawyers to make a legal case." One can only hope.