Pensioner Cyril takes on drugs giant

A Norfolk pensioner who suffered a stroke after taking painkillers prescribed by his doctor is still fighting for compensation and is appealing for a lawyer to take his case on.

A Norfolk pensioner who suffered a stroke after taking painkillers prescribed by his doctor is still fighting for compensation and is appealing for a lawyer to take his case on.

Cyril Robinson, 76, from Attleborough, starting taking the drug Vioxx to treat his arthritis pain in about 2001 but was admitted to hospital in July 2004 after suffering a stroke.

Vioxx, an anti-inflammatory drug, was withdrawn from the market in September 2004. A long-term study had found the risk of heart attacks and strokes was doubled if patients took it for 18 months. Almost 500,000 people in the UK were taking Vioxx when its US producers Merck removed it from sale.

Merck last November agreed compensation of $4.85bn (£2.86bn) to settle legal claims in the United States without admitting liability.


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But Mr Robinson was among British patients who were left disappointed after losing their right to fight for compensation in the US. A New Jersey court ruled they would have to go through the British courts, which is prohibitively expensive because funding is not available for personal injury claims.

Mr Robinson got in touch after reading about a similar case in last week's EDP involving 70-year-old Pamela Eaton, from Holt, who is also battling for compensation. She suffered a heart attack after taking Vioxx.

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Mr Robinson had been told by his American lawyers that his claim was worth between about $476,000 and $635,000. He now cannot find anyone to take his case on in the UK.

He said: “I think it is wrong. The drug companies should be held responsible. What happened to me was bad enough, but some people died after taking this drug. They shouldn't be allowed to get away with it. I now can't find anyone to take my case on. I feel victimised for being British.”

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