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Merck Wages Separate Press Battle Outside Of Aussie Vioxx Court

This article was originally published in PharmAsia News

Executive Summary

U.S.-based Merck apparently is waging a public relations war in Australia to offset fallout from a trial in federal court over its recalled Vioxx (rofecoxib) drug to treat arthritis. The company has a crisis-management team that attends the daily trial to observe journalists in and out of court. Team members monitor what reporters write, give them off-the-record information stressing Merck's own interpretation of events and sometimes harassing them about their stories. The team, guided by a U.S.-based spokeswoman, also writes almost daily letters to editors to stress Merck's case, all activity considered by one Australian attorney as highly unusual. (Click here for more

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