November 16, 2006
WSJ on the Merck Vioxx Win Yesterday
Article in the Wall Street Journal -- Merck Adds Another Win In Vioxx Trials, by Avery Johnson and Heather Won Tesoriero:
In a case that adds momentum to Merck & Co.'s Vioxx defense strategy, the drug maker prevailed in the 11th trial over the painkiller after a New Orleans jury cleared the company of responsibility in a man's heart attack.
Merck's win, which came after the jury deliberated just 90 minutes, gives the company a slight edge on the trial scorecard with six victories and four losses. (Another Merck victory was tossed out and will be retried in January.) It still faces some 24,000 lawsuits, however, and the pendulum could swing back in the plaintiffs' direction. Both sides are eager to notch as many early victories as possible before judges overseeing the litigation start corralling them into a settlement.
Merck's strategy of fighting each lawsuit one by one, and its recent winning streak in the courtroom, have helped to restore confidence in the prospects of the Whitehouse Station, N.J., company. After being preoccupied with Merck's Vioxx liability for much of the past two years, investors lately have become much less worried about the litigation.
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What I get out of CAFA is that jurisdiction for large class action is moved to Federal; that would then seem to be the first stage as it consolidates POWER centralized. Note that the STATES, by the way, ARE AGAINST PRE-EMPTION; kind of tells you that the STATES continue to be very way of Federal Power over-reaching. Some things certainly make sense from a Federal Point of view, certainly that is the case. However, in the case of TORT/PHARMA - it seems clear to me that the first step is to centralize power into the Federal Government, where it then becomes under their control how to move further.
Then, along comes TORT REFORM - and since the PUBLIC DOES not understand what it really means, the PUBLIC thinks hot coffee/and near $50M (amt ?) award. SURE, the public opinion says, something must be done, let's support TORT REFORM.
OK, now along comes PHARMA. Things are starting to look great for Pharma.
TORT REFORM? what a great way to PUSH a private "settlement" (DEAL), surely the public at large will support such a brave effort...
OK, now we get the "settlement" (DEAL)....
The Public has been quoted with MANY mean spirited quotations (we are blood sucking thieves, we steal $ from the research for children, we steal $ from greater research efforts, etc...).
Merck poor mouths itself and declares that $5B is SUCH A LARGE amount (don't we know where that amount gets now a days divided by so many people?).
The COURTS say - sure, we have been instructed by our Congress and House to seek TORT REFORM;
The COURTS collude (sorry, I know a lot don't like that word...) with PHARMA and design/collude the referred "private settlement" (DEAL) that has, without question, stolen CIVIL RIGHTS up the kazoo....
BUT, then go further.... while at it... why not actually draft the MSA ("settlement" (DEAL)) so that we can then bring it to the legislative body for their signature? Sounds quick and easy enough...
And that is where it seems to be:
1 - pharma knew for a long time where this was going...
2 - the courts are only too glad to have a nice, easy way to wipe away their dockets...
3 - the legislative branch wishes (this is NOT an issue of which party) to look good to their consitutents and claim - SURE, we have WORKED VERY HARD AT TORT REFORM (i.e. signing what Merck DIRECTED for the entire industry).... By the way, they do so via illegal "bill of attainer"
Besides seeking JUSTICE AND FAIR COMPENSATION, a goal of 2009 needs to beat back this new realization.
An opinion, certainly backed up by a lot of step by step actions... I DO think this is what we are seeing...
Posted by: bbh - dh | Nov 8, 2008 10:59:11 PM