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Merck faces another round of criticism

Philadelphia Inquirer, August 19, 2008

For the third time in three years, a prominent medical journal has criticized Merck & Co. Inc. for misrepresenting research on its pain reliever Vioxx. The editors of the Annals of Internal Medicine said the journal's findings may point to a broader problem in the pharmaceutical industry. Drug companies have long been suspected of enlisting doctors in trials solely to get doctors in the "habit of prescribing a new drug," the editors said. These are known as "seeding" trials, and the editorial says such trials pay doctors involved in them to consult with the drug company plus a fee for each patient they enroll.