Closing arguments expected in second Vioxx trial

Closing arguments are expected this week in Merck's second trial in defense of Vioxx. Former US Marine Mike Humeston says the Cox-2 painkiller caused his heart attack several days after September 11, 2001. The drug company's attorneys argue that the former postal carrier was not on the painkiller long enough for it have caused him serious problems. The jury in the first Vioxx trial found in favor of the plaintiff, in large part because jury members didn't like the way the drug company's attorneys came across. The story in the second trial has been much the same, with some criticizing lead attorney Diane Sullivan for challenging the judge and clashing with the other side's witnesses. Some analysts suspect the drug company's defense is hunting for a last minute mistrial.

- see this article from the Philadelphia Inquirer

PLUS: Merck reported a little earnings magic this morning, saying its net income rose 7.4% despite a drop in sales as a result of its Vioxx predicament. Article