Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Should Merck Change It's Vioxx Strategy?

Although Merck & Co. is still winning more Vioxx cases than it loses, David Logan, dean of Roger Williams University School of Law in Bristol, Rhode Island, said the pharmaceutical company should rethink it's strategy because their losses are big ones.

"How long can Merck carry the cost of these verdicts?" Logan asked. "None of these cases are coming back small."

Last week, a New Orleans jury awarded $50 million in compensatory damages and an additional $1 million in punitive damages to a retired FBI agent.

After the verdict Merck shares fell 57 cents, or 1.4 percent, at $40.61 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Also last week, a state judge in New Jersey overturned a November verdict favorable to Merck, saying the company withheld information showing heart attacks could come with use of Vioxx for less than 18 months.

Although, Merck has a winning percentage in Vioxx cases, they may well be better off to start settling some of them.

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