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Vioxx Civil Trial

A California cardiologist is expected to take the stand when the nation's first Vioxx-related civil trial resumes today near Houston.

Dr. Isaac Wiener is co-director of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Center at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles.  Carol Ernst believes Vioxx caused her husband's fatal arrhythmia in 2001, but drug-maker Merck disagrees.

Last week, Merck presented evidence that the company studied whether Vioxx caused arrhythmia in nine clinical trials and there were no clinically meaningful differences between patients who took Vioxx compared to those who didn't.  Merck pulled Vioxx from the market last year after a study showed it doubled the risk of heart attack or stroke if taken for 18 months or more.

About 20 million people took Vioxx after its launch in 1999.

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