January 30 roundup


  • Marie Gryphon, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Legal Policy, wrote the article sited in the Roundup about Vioxx. She claims that the Vioxx litigation inventory consists of strong cases (deserving) and nuisance cases. Since it is impossible to prove that any particular heart attack or stroke was cause by Vioxx, how can there be any strong cases? At the height of the hysteria some juries awarded absurd awards, those cases were strong only in being idiosyncratic.

    Ted Frank reports that Vioxx will increase heart attacks by roughly 25%. I suspect that that number is just statistical overkill. We know that many people used Vioxx before it was pulled from the market. The pulling of Vioxx off the market should show up as a notch in the monthly heart attack data. I wnonder if anybody did this simple test?

  • Regarding the UK coastie, there are two problems.

    First, the Times story says the rescuer was a volunteer and that he quit. He was not fired.

    Second, there is this paragraph buried in the story without noticeable irony:

    “Faye, now 14, from Saltburn-by-the-sea, east Cleveland, said that Mr Waugh, who also rescued her on another occasion when she was trapped by the tide, was a ‘true hero’.”

    “Another occasion”? How likely is that to have happened by chance?