Watch those document changes

This Forbes article explains how Microsoft Word added to Merck's Vioxx troubles:

    In the year since pharmaceutical giant Merck withdrew its arthritis drug Vioxx from shelves, the company has been hit with 7,000 personal injury lawsuits--one of which already cost the company $253 million. But it could be a frequently misused feature of Microsoft Word that turns out to be the straw that broke Merck's back.

    Last week, editors at The New England Journal of Medicine said that before Merck submitted a major study to the Journal for publication in 2000, information linking Vioxx to an increased risk of heart attacks was deleted from the document.

    In an statement posted on the NEJM's Web site, the editors said that during a review of the study, they "determined from a computer diskette that [relevant data was] deleted from the VIGOR manuscript two days before it was initially submitted to the Journal."

What can I add, except thanks to Anne Taylor-Vaisey for the pointer.

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