Thirteen researchers are refusing to submit a correction requested by the New England Journal of Medicine, which accuses them of withholding information about the painkiller Vioxx’s link to three patient heart attacks from a study published there, The Wall Street Journal reported today.
By excluding the information, the medical journal contends, the authors played down the risk of Vioxx.
The study authors, in two letters set to be published in the March 16 edition of the medical journal, said they didn’t know about the heart attacks when drafting the manuscript because those incidents occurred after a predetermined cutoff date for reporting cardiovascular events. They said the information deleted in a draft of the manuscript was data from a table, labeled “cardiovascular events” that was moved into the text of their final manuscript.
In the same March 16 edition, the New England Journal editors reaffirm their concern about the Merck funded study. They said at least two of the study authors became aware of the additional heart attacks four months before the study was published and should have reported that information to the editors.