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April 26, 2007: New Jersey Attorney Eric Weinberg Demands Vioxx Documents

Attorney Takes On FDA – For more than 20 years, Attorney Eric Weinberg has been representing clients who have been harmed by pharmaceutical products. He currently represents hundreds of individuals who were injured or died as a result of taking the prescription drug Vioxx. Mr. Weinberg’s personal injury law practice is located in New Brunswick, NJ.

The New Jersey Star Ledger article reprinted below features Mr. Weinberg and his suit to gain access to materials submitted by Merck, the maker of Vioxx, to the FDA’s Division of Drug Marketing and Communications.

“Industry Insider: Attorney tired of waiting game with FDA”

“Thursday, April 26, 2007

File this under “enough is enough.”

New Brunswick attorney Eric Weinberg, who represents several hundred clients suing Merck over health problems allegedly caused by the pain-relief drug Vioxx, began requesting information from the Food and Drug Administration nearly three years ago under the Freedom of Information Act

He is still waiting for most of it, including a Nov. 23, 2004, request he made for materials Merck submitted related to print and television advertisements promoting Vioxx.

Then there’s the request he made July 21, 2005. In that letter, Weinberg requested copies of all communications between the FDA’s Division of Drug Marketing and Communications and Merck regarding Vioxx.

The FDA sent Weinberg a bill for gathering and providing him the documents. Weinberg said he sent a payment on Sept. 13, 2005, but is still waiting to receive the documents.

So, earlier this month, Weinberg filed a lawsuit against FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach and his agency for failing to comply with the Freedom of Information Act. He is asking the court to order the agency to produce the information “without further delay.”

“This information is critical to my clients,” Weinberg said yesterday. “The problem is, there’s a systemic problem with the FDA’s Freedom of Information Office.”

Fred Sadler, director of the FDA’s Freedom of Information Division, said the average FOI request takes 12 months to be completed. “It’s not the way we would prefer to administer the act,” Sadler said, “but it’s a result of a huge volume.”

“We’re operating in a backlog situation,” he said.

Last year, the agency received 20,000 letters seeking documents under the FOI Act, Sadler said. It spent $11.6 million and devoted 88 staffers to comply with the law.

But as far as Weinberg is concerned, the purpose of the Freedom of Information Act is undermined if it takes years to obtain information.

“The Freedom of Information Act is a manifestation of the best of our Democratic society,” he said. “That ordinary people ask for and obtain government documents that are of concern to them is a basic freedom, and it’s being denied to all of us.”

— Susan Todd”

Product Liability and Personal Injury Lawsuit Help

Located in New Brunswick, NJ, The Law Firm of Eric Weinberg is available to assist personal injury and product liability victims. If your have a question regarding a personal injury lawsuit or a product liability lawsuit please contact Attorney Weinberg toll free at 1-877-934-6274 for a free legal case evaluation.

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