Cynical Capitalist


The portfolio, snapshots of memorabilia and artifacts in the collection

Product failures

Killer products, literally...


Some products have gone beyond failing and to the point of harming their users:
Vioxx / Rofecoxib was a drug marketed by Merck & Co. to treat osteoarthritis and acute pain conditions. Approved by the FDA)in 1999 and marketed under the names Vioxx, Ceoxx, and Ceeoxx, it was the object of a massive recall because of concerns about increased risk of heart attack and stroke in September of 2004. Merck was found to have withheld information about rofecoxib's risks for over five years, resulting in an estimated 60,000 deaths worldwide. Merck had sales revenue of US$2.5 billion from Vioxx.

The Ford Pinto was a compact car manufactured by Ford from 1971 to 1980. It became the object of a major scandal when it was discovered that the car's design allowed its fuel tank to be easily damaged in the event of a rear end collision which often resulted in deadly fires and explosions. Ford was aware of this design flaw, but refused to pay the expense of a redesign, deciding d it would be cheaper to pay off possible lawsuits from resulting deaths.

Rely was a brand of tampons made by Procter & Gamble starting in 1975. It was recalled from the market in September 1980 because it was linked to toxic shock syndrome. More than 1,500 cases of toxic shock syndrome, including 84 death have been documented by the CDC during the time of Rely's availability on the market.

Union Carbide and the Bhopal disaster also referred to as the Bhopal gas tragedy, was a gas leak incident in India, considered one of the world's worst industrial disasters. It occurred on the night of 2–3 December 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Over 500,000 people were exposed to methyl isocyanate gas and other chemicals, over 3,000 died in the incident.

<< Back to Portfolio next