Thursday, December 19, 2013

Merck Gets Stuck With Fred Hassan's $21 Million "Bar Tab" -- In Europe -- For (Allegedly) Blocking Generic Subutex®

The French section of the EU's Competition Commission has levied a fine of €15.3 million, or roughly $21 million, against legacy Schering-Plough, for its now more than seven year old efforts to block the entrance of generic competitors to Subutex®, by disparaging competitors in the marketplace — via an allegedly well-organized smear campaign. Subutex (the generic version is known to chemists as the compound buprenorphine, with or without a hydrochloride variant) is an expensive drug used to treat narcotics addictions, on the continent. Merck may or may not appeal that ruling, according to a spokeswoman at Whitehouse Station (per Reuters reporting).

And. . . huge surprise (not!) -- those efforts to (allegedly) restrain lawful price competition occured under Fred, Cary, Tom, Tom and Brent's stellar "leadership" -- at pre-merger Schering-Plough. Ugh.

Here's the relevant bit, from -- but do go read it all:

. . . .France's competition authority Thursday fined Schering-Plough, [now] a unit of U.S. drug giant Merck & Co., 15.3 million euros ($20.94 million), for allegedly attempting to block generic competition for its narcotic addiction treatment, Subutex.

The authority said in a statement that Schering-Plough, colluded with its supplier, the consumer-products maker Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC to elbow out of the market Arrow Group's generic version of Subutex. . . .

The actual financial amount of the fine is not remotely material, but the black eye (reputation damage) in Europe -- of being seen as a bully, and a price gouger, is (once again) disappointing. The $21 million is also -- as irony would have it -- about what Fred paid himself, per year, while at Schering-Plough, all in.

To my experienced eye, it is just more of the Fast Fred Hassan legacy, and a sad one, at that. [Ed. Note: Not feeling Christmas at all today -- all rather blue. . . so I'll likely fall silent a bit here. Maybe a Sing-Along Messiah will do the trick -- tonight. We shall see.]


Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear of the blues. I hope it only transient.

Maybe this will help:

Be well~

Condor said...

". . .For words, whether written or spoken or signed, that give life meaning and give meaning to our lives. . . .

. . .For art, which makes life beautiful in and of itself. . . .

. . .For science, for giving us many creations that have simplified our lives, and the knowledge to keep seeking better ways to live. . .

. . .For faith, hope, and love. Because those things are free, irreplaceable, and the only things that last a lifetime. . . ."

And hope is a good thing -- perhaps the best of all things. . . .

Thank you! I am sincerely all. . . Tiny Tim -n- junk, now!


Anonymous said...

I'm glad. Be well Tiny Tim.

This game is all too short to lose sight of those things that are truly important.

I think you always close with