Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Very Busy Vytorin® New Years' 2011 -- Amended Pleadings And Interrogatories In Federal Enhance Class Actions

As you may recall, all of the seven or so remaining federal securities fraud and ERISA putative class action complaints related to the delay in disclosing the disappointing ENHANCE study results, and the precipitous decline in legacy Merck's stock price (which also halved legacy Schering-Plough's market capitalization, for portions of 2008 and 2009) have been consolidated before the very able federal District Court Judge Cavanaugh in Newark, for the purpose of expediting discovery and other pretrial matters. Yesterday, all the lawyers agreed to extend the deadline for submitting amended pleadings, and additional interrogatories to January 1, 2011.

The decline in United States sales of Vytorin®, and its elder sister drug Zetia® continued unabated in Q3 2010, marking seven straight overall quarterly declines, as a result of the ENHANCE debacle -- and the overarching ambiguity -- about whether the medications actually improve cardiovascular outcomes in people with high cholesterol.

. . . .Proposed Order

Amended Pleadings due | January 1, 2011. . .

It is an near certainty that Judge Cavanaugh will sign and enter the agreed order, which will make for a very hectic New Years Eve, at all of these lawfirms.

It also makes settlements more likely in the first quarter of 2011, rather than before year end 2010. Thus, additional New Merck litigation charges, and related additional litigation reserves -- as charges against per share profits -- in Q1 2011, are now more probable. [It just feels like the McCain graphic should re-appear (above) here -- as Election Day 2010 dawns. Click the graphic for the 2008 back-story, involving Vytorin/Zetia.]

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