Phew, The Industry Veteran on the Health Care Blog has quite a few choice words about the recent Vioxx verdict. Here's a small sampling, but go read the whole post (and the comments):
A second lesson of Vioxx is that many other parties must share some blame with Merck for furthering the promiscuous overuse of COX-2 inhibitors. Physicians and their professional societies now proclaim in high dudgeon that they were unduly influenced to overprescribe the COX‘s by pharmaceutical sales reps, bountiful sample packs and deceitfully published articles. In fact their current wailing amounts to an admission that clinicians and their organizations failed to fulfill their professional responsibilities. For years the societies and the state licensing boards allowed physicians to complete their continuing medical education requirements by attending company-sponsored events. The manufacturers have been only too happy to relieve physicians of the need for footing the bill to keep up with advances in their respective disciplines. Now the same physicians and their accomplices self righteously complain that they have been influenced by promotions. Do they honestly expect us to believe or empathize with their purported shock and outrage, expressed with all the sincerity and histrionic skill of WWF wrestlers?
Wow, and it just gets hotter from there.