Thursday, May 05, 2005

Merck CEO Quits

Merck CEO Raymond V Gilmartin has just announced his resignation. The new CEO will be Richard Clark. Clark first served as a quality control inspector in 1972, then joined management. He was President of Medco Health from 2000 to 2002, and then CEO until 2003. His most recent job was head of Merck's manufacturing division. (See typical reports in the NY Times and
We have previously posted about Merck's questionable marketing strategies for the promotion of Vioxx (here), how it attempted to discredit reports of Vioxx's adverse effects (here), how it oversold Vioxx as a first-line analgesic, thus exposing more patients to its risks (here), and most recently, how the published report of a key trial of Vioxx was ghost-written (here). Thus, Gilmartin's resignation seems the honorable thing to do.
The question is now whether Clark, who evidently has no clinical or scientific experience, will be able to restore Merck's once pristine ethical reputation. We hope he does.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Clark, neither a physician nor a scientist (M.B.A., American University, 1970, B.A., Liberal Arts, Washington & Jefferson College, 1968) does not inspire the optimism that a seasoned clinician/researcher such as Roy Vagelos would have.