It's new. It's exciting. It had better pay off.
That basically sums up Merck's
Ironically, Schering-Plough stocked its pipeline through its smaller acquisition of Dutch Akzo Nobel's Organon BioSciences subsidiary. Companies can often get bigger potential rewards for the money by purchasing smaller companies with fewer drugs on the market -- think Eli Lilly's
It's a little late at this point to convince Merck to use one or both of those strategies, so let's get back to the pipeline. In general, Merck's and Schering-Plough's pipelines fit pretty well -- apparently better than Pfizer's
That's good news because Merck can use all the growth it can get its hands on. Blood pressure medications Cozaar/Hyzaar, a $3.6 billion franchise, are losing patent protection this year, and other blockbuster products like HPV vaccine Gardasil and cholesterol drugs Vytorin and Zetia have stalled out.
Merck's potential looks a lot better than it did a year ago, but only time will tell if the results pan out enough to justify the $41 billion price tag.