I think this reaction, earlier today — from a smallish-bank’s analyst — largely misses the mark as to whether there is a real problem with Vytorin, but he certainly gets it right about the crux of Schering’s most-vexing problem:
Credibility. Or the lack thereof.
. . . .The inconclusive finding Tuesday, based on further data analysis, leaves uncertainty about the safety of the drug, the New England Journal editors wrote, and many other doctors interviewed by journalists agreed.
Analyst Steve Brozak of WBB Securities said he’s never seen the medical community focus so heavily on the results of a study.
“The scrutiny isn’t because of the results,” Brozak said. “I think the issue is credibility” of the pharmaceutical industry in the eyes of doctors.
He said doctors feel so badly burnt by safety problems emerging after drugs become blockbusters that they have become hypercritical.
Both the new findings and a long-delayed study released in March indicate that Vytorin isn’t better than one of its components, now-generic Zocor, at preventing damage to the heart’s aortic valve from worsening or at limiting plaque buildup in arteries. . . .
That analyst got it at least half-right.