As Legacy Schering-Plough’s Vytorin® Goes Generic… We Will Re-Run The ENHANCE Study Delay Settlement

[Dateline: October 2014] The sad thing is that a competent Chairman and CEO — any competent one — would have saved this $688 million, and might have avoided having to merge into Merck (under significant duress), altogether. [And, over $116 million in plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees as well. Perhaps double that, in defense fees. Ugh.]

So in a very real sense, this $688 million is being taken from the Merck shareholders’ pockets (and their insurers), due to the acts and omissions of the ex-Schering-Plough top six executives (Hassan, Cox, Sabatino and Saunders, et al.), and board of directors — relative to the delays in releasing the (Vytorin®) ENHANCE study results.

Here’s a bit of the latest motion for a dispositive order, from Friday:

. . . .PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that on October 20, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. or as soon thereafter as counsel may be heard, the undersigned counsel for Lead Plaintiffs shall move before the Hon. Esther Salas, U.S.D.J. at the Martin Luther King Building & U.S. Courthouse, 50 Walnut Street, Newark, New Jersey 07101 for entry of the accompanying Order Approving Distribution Plan, which will, inter alia:


. . .direct the distribution of the Net Settlement Fund to Claimants whose Claims have been accepted as valid and approved by the Court, while maintaining a Reserve for any contingencies that may arise; (iii) direct that distribution checks state that the check must be cashed within 90 days after the issue date; (iv) direct that Authorized Claimants will forfeit all recovery from the Settlement if they fail to cash their distribution checks in a timely manner; (v) adopt the recommended plan for any funds remaining following the Initial Distribution; (vi) release claims related to the claims administration process; (vii) approve Epiq’s fees and expenses incurred from October 1, 2013 through May 31, 2014, and to be incurred in connection with the initial distribution of the Net Settlement Fund; (viii) authorize the destruction of Proofs of Claim and supporting documents after the second distribution of the Net Settlement Fund; and (ix) provide that the Court retains jurisdiction to consider any further applications concerning the administration of the Settlement, and such other and further relief as the Court deems appropriate. . . .

And so — a previously very expensive, only marginally effective cholesterol management medicine falls into the hands of generic makers (Impax and Teva, to start with). To be sure, Kenilworth will be fine, as pembrolizumab will more than fill the hole this generic availability puts in the now-waning cholesterol management franchise. This is the end of the story of Fred Hassan’s deceptions — engineered with his team of sycophant executives (in my opinion). It feels good to be able to finally say “adios” to this narrative. So. . . adios.

In a few moments we will report on the signal acquisition, by NASA — from Cassini’s high gain dish — a huge passel of millions of miles off, hurling past the ring-plane at about 77,000 miles an hour. . . . she will slip through the ring plane 21 more times, once each week now — twisting gracefully, all the while. Data (hi-res pictures, and magnetic readings) are now in fact streaming down, like waterfalls, after a brief delay. . . and that is grin-worthy, indeed.

नमस्ते

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