Friday, November 09, 2007

Unusual Strategy 

This is interesting news, if true. Merck pharmaceuticals, after winning most of the lawsuits against it over the drug Vioxx, is about to settle the rest of the claims. Has the company decided it isn't worth it economically to continue litigation, or has it established with trial successes that any settlement won't be as large as first estimated? Either way, Merck's reputation took a blow with the Vioxx affair. It will take years for the company to repair, if it can, the image it had of a caring corporation.

The pharmaceutical industry in general has fallen into disrepute and gained the reputation of money-grubbers no different than the rest of companies. It is hard to remember now, but it wasn't always that way. The industry was once honored for huge leaps it made in the control of diseases. I may be wrong, but it seems to me the industry had a better reputation before it was allowed to advertise directly to patients. Advertisements for such lifestyle drugs as Viagra haven't helped and the difficulty that pharmas have today of developing major drugs hasn't supported their image either. It seems it will take a whole new way of thinking about marketing for major pharmas to get back to where they were. That thinking isn't apparent now.


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