Merck released the results of a new study on its pain reliever Arcoxia, intended as a substitute for its troubled Vioxx, and concluded it was gentler on the stomach than its predecessors. But the study did not address the problem that led to Vioxx being removed from the market -- that it caused heart problems. The Arcoxia study was conducted over a nine-month period, and the Vioxx tie to heart problems occurred at least 18 months into its trials. Analysts do not expect FDA approval for Arcoxia without further safety studies.

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