In the wake of the recent recall of the popular drug Vioxx due to recent research demonstrating that it can increase the risk of heart disease, there has been a rush by media to cover this story. The Wall St. Journal (WSJ) is one of the many media outlets producing articles on this topic.
On Saturday, October 2, ABC Founder and Executive Director, Mark Blumenthal, was interviewed by WSJ reporter Paul Davies for a story on various natural alternatives in the dietary supplement industry that consumers might use an acceptable substitute for Vioxx® (the multibillion dollar pain reliever from Merck). Unfortunately, none of Blumenthal’s comments were used in the article published Tuesday, October 5, 2004. As a result, Blumenthal wrote a letter to the editor of the WSJ that has not been published. Additionally, ABC has received no response from the author for repeated requests for a copy of the article.
Vioxx is a known for its primary mechanism of action of inhibiting the enzyme cycloogygenase-2 (COX-2), an enzyme involved in the production of prostaglandins and the resulting inflammatory process. Inhibition of COX-2 is a successful strategy developed recently for pharmaceutical drugs for controlling inflammation and associated pain.