The Recall of Vioxx|Business Ethics|Case Study|Case Studies

The Recall of Vioxx

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : BECG046 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 500 ;
For delivery through Shipping & Handling Charges extra: Rs. 500 +Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Crisis Management
Case Length : 13 Pages
Period : 1998-2004
Pub. Date : 2005
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Vioxx
Industry : Pharma
Countries : US


The case gives an overview on the controversy involving Vioxx, a drug produced by the US based Merck, a global pharma major. Vioxx was used for the treatment of arthritis and acute pain. The product was promoted aggressively by Merck and had emerged as one of the best selling drugs for Merck within a year of its launch. However, medical experts raised doubts about the cardiovascular risks associated with Vioxx's long-term usage. In the initial years, Merck disagreed with the various medical studies that indicated cardiovascular risks until its own internal study indicated the risk. Finally, in September 2004, Vioxx was recalled from the market. The case highlights the ethical issues involved in Vioxx's controversy and examines the way Merck handled the entire issue.

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Identify the ethical issues involved in the controversy associated with Vioxx

Examine the alternatives available with Merck to solve the Vioxx controversy

Critically analyze the way Merck responded on the Vioxx issue

Study how the company recalled Vioxx and the reasons behind this decision

Discuss the approach on how the crisis could have been resolved in right, proper and just manner


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 2
The Rise and Fall of Vioxx 2
The Aftermath 6
Exhibits 9


Case, Vioxx, Merck & Company, Product Recall, Corporate Communication, Patient Safety, Crisis Management, Public Relations, Business Ethics and Food and Drug Administration

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