PETER ROST: PHARMA MARKETING EXPERT WITNESS. AWP, MEDICAL DEVICE EXPERT.: Schering-Plough makes themselves look like idiots. Again.

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Schering-Plough makes themselves look like idiots. Again.

Schering-Plough stock is down over 10% in heavy trading today.

What happened?

Here is what probably happened, straight from Scherinlings-got-plowed:

Act I:

Compare Vytorin to a placebo (i.e., stack the deck).

Act II:

Schedule Schering and Merck Second Quarter 2008 Earnings Calls for pre-market-open on July 21, 2008.

Act III:

Delay both calls -- to after market-close, on July 21, 2008 -- for "an important update" on SEAS: Vytorin to placebo.

H I L A R I O U S L Y. . . . bad theatre! Why?

Well, what is missing from the above plot-synopsis is this: According to paragraph two of Schering-Plough's press release, the SEAS update will be published around 1 PM EDT today -- during the trading day.

Were this "Norway Update" truly material, it would not be published during the trading day, as at a minimum, an NYSE Halt-Trading process would be invoked -- with a "News-Pending" flag on the stock's ticker symbol. If Schering opens (at all) this morning -- on the NYSE -- in about 20 minutes' time, then this is all a stunt.

My prediction, then: There will be no Earth-shatteringly-positive actual news from the SEAS update -- out of Sweden.


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