You knew it couldn't last forever. Every time I heard a Merck
Now we know the answers -- last Friday and $4.85 billion. That number may sound large, but given the $1.2 billion the company has already spent on legal fees, it looks like Merck is getting off pretty easy.
Patients will be able to get a piece of that settlement if 85% of the plaintiffs agree to the deal. My guess is that plaintiffs will jump at the guaranteed money, given that Merck has so far won 10 out of 15 Vioxx-case rulings.
Merck claims to have covered its basis and protected itself from ballooning settlement costs. It certainly doesn't want to follow in Wyeth's
Now that the Vioxx issue is mostly behind it, Merck can continue to concentrate on its growth. It has reported double-digit year-over-year EPS growth for the first nine months of the year, thanks to the cholesterol drugs it markets with Schering-Plough
While GARDASIL will start receiving competition from GlaxoSmithKline's
Here's some lawsuit-free Foolishness about Merck: