An editorial in today's Wall Street Journal calls for the return of Vioxx ("Now Bring Back Vioxx") citing a "meta" analysis (wooooo... meta!) published in BMJ claiming to show that "high doses" of Advil "raised the risk of adverse cardiovascular events by roughly as much as such COX-2 drugs as Vioxx and Celebrex." WSJ argued that if Tysabri, which treats MS, can be brought back to the market then Vioxx should also be brought back.
Forget for the moment what they mean by "high dose" and forget that meta analyses are not the gold standard in scientific research. I'm more interested in the ad that Merck will run if and when Vioxx comes back on the market.
Considering that pop music is often co-opted in advertising to put the viewer in the right mood, I envision Merck using the "Welcome Back, Kotter" TV series theme song. Here are the modern lyrics:
Welcome Back, Vioxx
Your AEs were your ticket out.
To that same old market you bashed about.
Well the names have all changed since you hung around,
But the pain has remained and the data all turned around.
Who'd have thought meta data'd lead ya (Who'd have thought meta data'd lead ya)
Here where we need ya (Here where we need ya)
Yeah we tease Vioxx a lot cause we've had it on the spot, welcome back,
Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back.