A Weak Prognosis for Vytorin and Zetia

Schering-Plough and Merck will likely see plunging sales after Dr. Harlan Krumholtz advises cardiologists not to prescribe the cholesterol drugs

In what may go down as a seminal lesson in the dangers of over-aggressive drug-industry marketing, share prices of Schering-Plough (SGP) and Merck (MRK) plunged on Mar. 31 after their top-selling cholesterol drugs got hammered at a scientific meeting. Schering shares were down 26% at the close of trading on Mar. 31, to 14.41, and Merck was down 14.7%, to 37.95—representing a combined loss of $22 billion in shareholder value from the previous Friday.

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