When well respected physician Gurkirpal Singh of Stanford University started raising questions about the safety of the prescription painkiller Vioxx, the drug's maker set out to discredit him -- even though they'd earlier recurited him to promote the drug -- and even though the company knew by then the heart risks of Vioxx.
NPR has an in-depth look at how Merck lined up doctors to sell the drug, then put pressure on those who questioned its safety to keep quiet.
The Senate took up reports of Merck's attempts to censor FDA scientists when they blew the whistle on Vioxx's safety last year.
It's an expample of the amount of power drug companies exert to keep their profits flowing. (NPR)