Vioxx Sales Halted

Vioxx, a popular arthritis drug used by millions of people is being pulled from the market because of health dangers.

Merck & Company announced this morning its voluntarily halting sales of Vioxx. The drug company had long disputed studies suggesting vioxx seriously increased the risk of heart problems. Now the company acknowledged it's dangerous for people who use it long-term.

Merck & Company says an ongoing clinical trial confirms the medication increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Vioxx was a blockbuster drug when it was introduced in 1999, boasting relief for painful arthritis without the stomach problems of other medications. Physicians also widely prescribe it for acute pain from injuries and migrane headaches.

Vioxx sales totalled two-and-a-half billion dollars last year, second to the arthritis drug Celebrex.