Merck scientist defends Vioxx research

The head of clinical trials at Merck denied that the drug company manipulated its research to make the painkiller Vioxx appear safe in testimony on Wednesday in the company's first civil trial. Dr. Alise Reicin said Merck played by the rules in the tests leading up to the drug's introduction. Confronted with an email she wrote in 1997 which suggested that researchers exclude patients who had suffered heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems from a trial, Reicin explained that her note was part of a discussion between Merck scientists about the wisdom of including patients on aspirin in the experiment.

- see this story from The New York Times