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That is the question Senator Chuck Grassley hopes to find an answer to in his recently launched probe into the FDA’s handling of Vioxx debacle. Senator Grassley has asked the inspector general to investigate the FDA’s conduct and report on their findings with specific reference to an FDA senior scientist, Dr. David Graham, whose findings denoted that Vioxx posed numerous risks to its users prior to Vioxx’s removal from the market in September of 2004.

According to

Sen. Chuck Grassley said the FDA and Merck went so far as to conspire together to undercut Dr. Graham’s findings.

Grassley says handwritten notes from a phone call between an FDA official and a Merck manager indicate that the FDA apparently proposed “an official rebuttal on Graham” and said they were looking for an “opportunity to get the message out on Graham” and “suggests we provide journalists a copy of our critique on Graham.”

“It was a conspiracy on the part of the company employee, the FDA employee, to just smother Dr. Graham or to ruin his reputation,” said Sen. Grassley.

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