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    Murf

    I did an epidemiological study (12 years of one state’s hospital admissions and several years of PBS data) of the likely effects of prescription of both Vioxx and Celebrex on admissions for congestive heart failure and similar diagnoses a few months before the adverse findings on Vioxx appeared in the media. However, my work was poo-pooed by someone in my own workplace who had apparently been paid (I discovered later) by Merck to show that Vioxx’s introduction significantly lowered hospital admissions for gastrointestinal bleeding. There was a clear increase in the slope of the correlation between time and number of admissions, starting when Vioxx and then Celebrex were placed on the PBS/RPBS. Of course I couldn’t show cause, but they were the only drugs any reasonable researcher at the time might suspect could increase the load on a failing heart. The work was approved by a top cardiologist with whom I was working at the time, but I was never allowed to publish anything on the topic. How much more of this sort of work by junior researchers never sees the light of day?

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