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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel has set out to review Arcoxia, Merck & Co. Inc.’s replacement pain reliever drug for Vioxx which was recalled back in 2004. In a meeting set for April 12, 2007, the panel expects to discuss the safety and effectiveness of Arcoxia which is being heavily pushed by Merck for FDA approval. Of note worthy concern, Arcoxia, like Vioxx and Bextra, is a cox-2 inhibitor, and would be the first drug in this class to receive approval from the FDA since the Vioxx and Bextra recalls in 2004 and 2005. At this time only Celebrex, manufactured by Pfizer, is the only cox-2 inhibitor still on the market today. Although still on the market, Celebrex has raised many health concerns related to its use as well. The results of this panel, although not binding on the FDA’s final decision concerning approval, should be an interesting one given all the well known cardiovascular dangers and risks other, now recalled, cox-2 inhibitors have caused for thousands and thousands of consumers.

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