Both Merck, the manufacturer of Vioxx, has since reported several instances kidney failure possibly associated with their drug, and Pharmacia, the manufacturer of Celebrex another popular COX-2 , has received similar reports in people taking their drug. As of this writing, none of the reported conditions were conclusively diagnosed as kidney failure directly related to the drugs.
Kidney problems are a side effect of all NSAIDs including COX-2 inhibitors, according to researchers in the field. Therefore the mounting evidence suggesting an association between kidney failure and COX-2 inhibitors is not surprising. The companies are apparently aware of this and the current labels for Vioxx carry the same warnings and risks as NSAIDs, including the potential for kidney damage.
Some doctors believe that Vioxx and COX-2 drugs are no more effective than other NSAIDs. They also conclude with the mounting evidence that there is no safety advantage.
They argue that patients suffering from conditions such as arthritis patients should taking an NSAID, such as ibuprofen. Merck promotes VIOXX, which is much more expensive, while the patient would be better off financially and medically taking a cheaper drug, one which is a fraction of the price of Vioxx.