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Merck loses bid to market Vioxx sucessor

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published April 28, 2007


TRENTON, N.J.

The food and drug administration rejected Merck & Co.'s request to market a successor to its withdrawn arthritis drug Vioxx in the United States, the drugmaker said Friday. The decision was widely expected, after a panel of FDA advisors two weeks ago voted 20-1 against approving the drug, Arcoxia. It is in the class of anti-inflammatory drugs called Coxx-2 inhibitors, which are touted as less likely to cause stomach bleeding or have other dangers, but they have been linked to heart risks. Merck pulled Vioxx from the market in September 2004 after research showed it doubled risk of heart attacks and strokes.

MEMPHIS

Ex-state senator is guilty of bribery

Former state Sen. John Ford, a prominent member of a politically powerful family, was convicted Friday of accepting $55, 000 in bribes during a corruption inquiry. The federal jury deadlocked on the more serious charge of extortion, creating a mistrial on that count. Ford was acquitted of three counts of witness intimidation. He will likely face prison time on the bribery count.

SAN FRANCISCO

Committee seeks Tillman documents

A congressional committee on Friday requested documents from the White House and Pentagon describing how and when the Bush administration learned the circumstances of Pat Tillman's death. The House Oversight Committee is investigating why Tillman's family and the public were misled about the circumstances of his death. Tillman, a San Jose native, turned down a new contract with the NFL's Arizona Cardinals to join the Army after the Sept. 11 attacks. He was killed April 22, 2004, by friendly fire in Afghanistan. Five weeks passed before the circumstances of his death were made public.

NEW YORK

Suspect is held in taped mugging

A suspect in the mugging of a 101-year-old woman with a walker was arrested on Friday on drug charges, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. Kelly said the man, who was not named, had been wanted for questioning in the attack - captured on a surveillance tape - and another robbery of an 85-year-old woman. The videotape of the March 4 attack shows Rose Morat, 101, trying to leave her apartment building to go to church.

Elsewhere

Portland, Ore.: A few hundred aggressive cousins of the threatened northern spotted owl may be killed by government agents with shotguns under a proposal by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The barred owls have crowded the spotted owls out of prime habitat, sometimes attacking them.

Albany, N.Y.: Friendly fire apparently killed New York State Trooper David Brinkerhoff as he searched a farmhouse for a suspect in the shooting of a colleague Wednesday, officials said Friday. The suspect was killed in the gunfight.

Washington: The Securities and Exchange Commission has decided not to file insider-trading charges against former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist in connection with the sales of stock in the hospital chain his family owns.

Washington: Authorities dropped charges Friday against an aide to Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, Phillip Thompson, 45, who carried a loaded gun into the U.S. Capitol complex in March.