Lawyers involved in the high-profile Vioxx (rofecoxib) case have agreed to postpone a second trial for wrongful death, according to a report in Forbes yesterday. However, the deal will still have to be given the green light by the presiding judge, Ben Hardin.

Merck & Co withdrew Vioxx last year after evidence pointed to a doubling in the risk of heart attack and death amongst patients taking the drug for longer than 18 months, sending the company into freefall [[01/10/04a]]. Vioxx had been one of its biggest drugs, reaping billions of dollars in sales for the firm during its time on the market.

Last week, lawyers for Merck said they hoped another case – concerning the death of 42-year-old Brad Rogers – would not come to court. They asked the judge to dismiss the accusation after claims that the drug samples provided as evidence did not actually leave Merck’s possession until March 2002 – six months after Mr Rogers died [[27/04/05a]].