Vioxx class action can continue: lawyer

THE Victorian man who launched Australia’s first Vioxx compensation claim has lost on appeal, placing his test case and a related class action in legal limbo.

The full court of the Federal Court of Australia found Graeme Peterson had cardiovascular risk factors independent of taking Vioxx (rofecoxib), overturning an earlier ruling in his favour.

It was not known as MO went to press whether a High Court appeal would be launched.

A statement from Mr Peterson’s lawyers said the class action against the drug’s maker, Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), could carry on.

“[Mr] Peterson said he’s disappointed it’s turned out this way, but he’s always understood this was going to be a long process, and it’s not necessarily the final step,” a Slater & Gordon spokesman said.

“The most important thing for him has always been ensuring that the other group members… were