Merck, the FDA, and the Vioxx Recall
GB590: Corporate Social Responsibility
Dr. Evan Duff
March 20, 2012
Merck & Co., Inc. is known for being the second largest global healthcare company that provides both consumer products and animal care. The company began in 1851 when Dr. Ernst Christian Friedrich Schering developed and sold pharmaceuticals from his home in Berlin. The company rapidly expanded and opened operations in the United States in 1891. Over the years Merck has developed several pharmaceuticals that have been a benefit to society (Merck, 2012). In 2005, Merck ranked first in profits, fourth in sales, and fifth in assets and market value in the pharmaceutical industry. During this time Merck had been known as a very socially responsible and ethical drug company. For several years, Merck was named the "most admired" company by Fortune magazine. The company was renowned for developing innovative drugs that have helped millions of people. Merck had also donated several of these innovative drugs to those in poverty around the world who could not afford the medicine (Lawrence, 2011). Overall, Merck desires to improve people's well-being, their health, and their lives through treatments and preventions of illnesses. Merck's vision is to develop and discover medicines, biological therapies, vaccines, consumer health products, and animal products that make a difference in people's lives throughout the world (Merck, 2012). Unfortunately, in 2006, Merck ran into problems with one of its best-selling prescription drugs, Vioxx that was used as a painkiller, was pulled from market in 2004 after being on the market for five years because it increased the risk of strokes and heart attacks (Lawrence, 2011).
Drug Development & Testing
Merck's Vioxx drug was created as a selective COX-2 inhibitor. An enzyme known as cyclooxygenase, or COX, had been associated for several years by scientist, with pain and inflammation....