The drug manufacturing company Merck has decided to discontinue developing the oral medication Vernakalant, which was to be used as a long-term treatment to prevent recurrence in atrial fibrillation (AF) episodes. Merck’s partner in creating the drug, Cardiome Pharma, said the “decision was based on Merck’s assessment of the regulatory environment and projected development timeline.”

While both Merck and Cardiome are going to keep up their partnership with regards to the IV version of Vernakalant, which is called Brinavess and is approved for use in 37 countries other than the U.S. as a treatment for the rapid conversion of recent onset AF.

“It is our understanding that Vernakalant oral has continued to have a safe and effective profile as demonstrated by studies conducted since the product was licensed to Merck. We are extremely disappointed with the decision Merck has made,” said Doug Janzen, president and CEO at Cardiome. “However, we look forward to continuing to work with Merck on the worldwide development and commercialization of Vernakalant IV.”

Various other medications have been used in the treatment of AF, including Sanofi-Aventis’ Multaq. Multaq, like other medications, has been linked to some serious and potentially life-threatening side effects. Some of the side effects linked to Multaq use include liver failure and a worsening of the heart condition. Because of the dangers linked to Multaq, most doctors won’t prescribe the drug unless other drugs aren’t working. Somehow, despite all of the signals that this drug is unsafe, many people are still being prescribed — and harmed by — the medication.

If you or a loved one has developed liver failure or a worsening of your heart condition after taking Multaq, contact the attorneys at Greg Jones today for a free consultation. We are experienced at fighting Multaq lawsuits and may be able to help you recover money for your injuries.