See the earlier post, of this morning, for background. What does a Vioxx® (rofecoxib) study1 from back at the turning of the Millennium have to do with today's various Fosamax® ONJ Bellwether trials? We'll soon know -- by January 3, 2011.
That is, I want to amplify one point here -- it seems that, at least as of March of 2000, Dr. Thomas A. Musliner was a Merck employee (see the list of affilations at the bottom of that article -- the topic isn't relevant to Fosamax -- just that Dr. Musliner was then a Merck expert):
. . . .Ms. Gumbs, Mr. Ebel, Dr. Quan, Mr. Larson, Dr. Schwartz, Dr. Musliner, Dr. Gertz, and Dr. Yao are employees of Merck and Co., Inc. . . .
As of two nights ago, lawyers for Judith Graves were seeking to admit material found in Dr. Musliner's files -- as some form of newly relevant evidence -- in her Fosamax ONJ trial.
Since Musliner was presumably a Merck employee when he authored whatever this evidence might be, it will be presumptively relevant in ALL Fosamax ONJ bellwether trials, if it is relevant in Mrs. Graves' trial.
Clearly, we'll know by January 3, 2011 -- but this may change the shape of the to-come Secrest, Hester and Boles III jury trials.
We will keep you posted -- even if it isn't the basis (in Graves v. Merck) for an immediate new trial, in the learned view of Judge Keenan -- it is almost certain to make a showing in Hester (May 2011) and Secrest (March 2011). The Boles III damages-only jury trial should be underway some time in the first quarter of 2011, as well.
1. And -- not entirely incidentally -- why were 15 patients given a 5 to 20 times too strong dose of Vioxx -- and thus (arguably) allowed to have their renal functions compromised?