Merck denys Vioxx seeding study claims
Merck says its ADVANTAGE study (Assessment of Differences Between Vioxx and Naproxen to Ascertain Gastrointestinal Tolerability and Effectiveness) was not designed to fulfill a marketing objective, refuting seeding study claims made in an Aug. 19 Annals of Internal Medicine report. "ADVANTAGE was a double-blind, randomized, controlled clinical trial with a legitimate scientific purpose designed to answer previously unanswered questions about the use of Vioxx in osteoarthritis in a primary care setting," the firm asserts in an open letter to Annals editors. However, the report cites internal documents from Merck's marketing division, including an e-mail referencing ADVANTAGE that says: "It may be a seeding study, but let's not call it that in our internal documents.
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