Friday, November 7, 2014

Only Ten Days Until IMPROVE-IT Is Known -- And Larry (for Forbes) Has A GREAT Rundown!

Larry Husten is a smart guy, a good friend of the blog, and a very well-balanced, measured voice on all matters referenced in his article. And this event has been a decade in the making. I'll point to just two of our backgrounders -- here, also -- of dozens, just search IMPROVE-IT in the box at upper left, here.

Do go read it all. It is required reading if any of the readership wishes to understand what will transpire for Whitehouse Station, on the NYSE, on and after November 17, 2014. Here's just a bit:

. . . .The results of the trial–underway for nearly a decade– have been long and eagerly awaited by everyone interested in cardiovascular medicine. The trial could impact the future sales of a key Merck drug, ezetimibe, though because it is nearing the end of its patent life the commercial significance is somewhat limited. However, IMPROVE-IT will also have very important implications beyond its specific effect on one drug franchise and could influence the fate of several new drugs now being investigated and may even alter the entire drug development and evaluation process. . . .

My betting has long been that there will be either a null event, or a non-statistically significant benefit. Either way, I will expect continued (and perhaps accelerated) erosion in US Vytorin® and Zetia® sales. All of which may turn out to be immaterial to big Merck, now that patent expiry looms, on Zetia. If a null event is disclosed, it is jaw slacking that perhaps $20 billion of the combo and standalone drugs were sold, lifetime to date, and they then turn out to be (in the immortal words of Dr. Harlan Krumholz, of Yale). . . just "very expensive placebos." Goodness. Have a fabulous Friday, one and all! 'Tis very sunny in the City of Big Shoulders, today. . .

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