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Curfman admits timing NEJM editorial to first Irvin trial

AP, through reporter Janet McConnaughey, reports:

Monday, Dr. Gregory Curfman, executive editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, [testified that] there had been a connection between the first federal Vioxx trial in Houston and the timing of his journal's publication of an editorial critical of a study used as evidence in that trial, reversing earlier statements.

When I earlier suggested that the timing with the end of the Irvin trial was "fishy," plaintiffs' attorney Evan Schaeffer criticized that analysis.

Curfman was apparently more constrained to tell the truth when he was under oath; his earlier misstatements about the editorial's timing misled the press in its original coverage of the editorial. I think we can guess whether the restatement will get the same level of publicity. Elsewhere in Vioxx litigation:

  • Merck begins presenting is defense in the Irvin case in the MDL in New Orleans today.
  • In New Jersey, Merck filed a motion against the "Frankenstein's monster" of a consolidated trial of two plaintiffs whose Vioxx injury was seventeen months apart. (AP, Feb. 14).
  • In Starr County, the first witness in the Garza case (Jan. 26, Jan. 28) continues her testimony today after a two and a half week break in the trial. (Britney Booth, "Starr County Vioxx trial to continue Tuesday", The Monitor, Feb. 13).



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.