As Schering-Plough unveils full-year financial results for 2007 tomorrow, CEO Fred Hassan is likely to be peppered with questions about how he managed a recently released study of embattled cholesterol drug, Vytorin.
Is low cholesterol the pathway to a healthier heart? That's certainly what most medical experts - and their patients - have assumed for the last 30 years or so. But a recently-released study of Merck and Schering-Plough's cholesterol-lowering drug, Vytorin, is giving new voice to medical critics who have groused for decades about the questionable benefit of using medications to lower cholesterol and thereby prevent heart disease.
Recently announced safety problems with Eli Lilly & Co.'s prasugrel could mean good news for Schering-Plough and its experimental anti-clotting drug TRA, but it would be years before it could enter the market.
Things aren't as bad as they look at Schering-Plough. The company's shares fell more than 13% yesterday, after its third quarter earnings failed to match Wall Street's expectations. But the company's future, despite the investor sell-off, remains promising.
Drugmaker Schering-Plough is a favorite of analysts and investors these days. It's no wonder: The company's flagship product, the cholesterol-fighting Vytorin, is breaking sales records and faces relatively little risk from cheaper generic versions from rivals.