A panel of federal drug advisers voted 20 to 1 Thursday to reject an application by Merck to sell its pain pill Arcoxia because of concerns that the drug could cause as many as 30,000 heart attacks annually if widely used.

Food and Drug Administration officials were unusually harsh in their criticism of the medicine.

“What you’re talking about is a potential public health disaster” if Arcoxia is approved for sale, Dr. David Graham, an F.D.A. safety officer, told the panel.

Source: F.D.A. Rejects Merck’s New Pain Medication - New York Times


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