Ed had an intriguing item, overnight — it seems New Haven, Connecticut is seeking RFPs for law firms to handle the recovery of its $400,000 paid for Vytoirn/Zetia — from Merck and Schering-Plough. Full Reqeust For Proposal,or “RFP” (as a PDF file) here.
As exciting as this is, I do see a few mechanical problems with the RFP request from New Haven — I’ll elaborate on those, below Ed’s pull-quote:
. . . .The city of New Haven, Connecticut, which is the home of Yale University, says more than $400,000 in tax dollars were spent Vytorin and Zetia on for employees, and corporation counsel John Ward wants the money back. Why? Vytorin “doesn’t work,” he tells The New Haven Independent. The Vytorin cholesterol pill combines Zetia and Zocor.
And so he has issued a request for proposal to hire an outside law firm to sue Merck and Schering-Plough, which are the subject of Congressional investigations into their handling of Vytorin clinical trial data that called into question the drug’s effectiveness. . . .
Ward hopes to use the “no win, no pay” approach, which means the law firm that represents the city in a lawsuit would not receive any fee if the city loses the case. . . .
I simply want to remark that the RFP request contemplates ANNUAL renewals — with the City of New Haven deciding whether to keep the lawyer/s, yearly. So at a minimum, a progress payment mechanism would seem only fair, if termination of an able, engaged attorney that “won” the RFP could occur, each year — even absent any mistake by the attorney(s). This suit may not be certified as a class, let alone litigated or settled, for at least three more full years — consider that the Schering-Plough Claritin FDA manufacturing variances lawsuits (in the 2001 time-frame), which led to the ouster of Raul Kogan, and the arrival of Hassan and his Top Six, were just “certified” as a federal class action last week — almost seven years later.
So, a means for “progress payments” must be contemplated, anew, by the city — if it potentially wants to “change horses“, on a yearly basis, mid-stream.
Second, and more fundamentally, it would seem that joining the price-refund putative class actions, already filed, and pending, in the federal courts in Newark, New Jersey is really a more economic alternative than “going it alone”.
No class member will pay out of pocket, unless a recovery is had — thus, it satisfies the “no win, no pay” objective of the City. It will take years, but my hunch is that is the better route for the taxpayers of New Haven, Connecticut.
More to come, shortly.