After listening to yesterday's conference call, I don't think members of the media should expect Valentine's Day cards from Schering-Plough (NYSE: SGP) executives this year. While I tend to agree that the media has blown the Enhance trial data out of proportion, I'm not sure you can discount the press's influence on sales of the company's cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Schering's CEO, who already put his money where his mouth is, tried to calm investors' nerves, saying, "The doctors generally knew that this was one of those media driven situations." But doctors are only half of the prescription-writing formula. Patients play a huge role in which drugs get prescribed -- that's why direct-to-consumer advertisements work -- and I'm not sure that the media frenzy is over. Congress is still investigating whether Schering and Merck (NYSE: MRK) took too long to release the trial data, which could negatively impact patients' views of the companies, and push them toward cholesterol-lowering drugs such as Pfizer's (NYSE: PFE) Lipitor or AstraZeneca's (NYSE: AZN) Crestor.

Away from the press bashing, Schering reported a pretty nice quarter. The bottom line was dragged down by charges from its acquisition of Akzo Nobel's (Nasdaq: AKZOY) Organon BioSciences subsidiary, but non-GAAP earnings were up 58% year over year.

In addition to the decent pre-Enhance sales growth of its cholesterol drugs, which we already knew about from Merck's earnings release, the rest of Schering's drugs had a good quarter as well. The all-star of the group, anti-inflammatory Remicade, which Schering sells outside the U.S. for Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), posted a 35% year-over-year sales increase.

Schering didn't give any forecast for this year, but who can blame it? Without knowing how the press will play the upcoming presentation of the Enhance data at the American College of Cardiology conference, it would be just a guess as to which way its near-term earnings are headed. Schering's long-term prospects, on the other hand, look pretty good with a restocked pipeline thanks to the addition of Organon.

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Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., doesn't consider himself part of the media, although he has applied for media credentials to get into conferences for free. He doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. The Fool has a disclosure policy.