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  • acricketeer acricketeer Apr 5, 2005 8:45 AM Flag

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    Since they sold off so many assets, the key decision at this point, is to preserve what they have and still service the debt. I brought up the idea of refinancing because some on this MB believe that once we approach 2008, the bondholders will demand full payment and auction off the pieces. I doubt that will happen. On the other hand, it will be impossible to pay down the debt substantially unless Tysabri comes back on the market with a decent launch. This is a serious issue. I believe that this is one reason why they agreed to pull T at an early stage. They were more concerned about long-term adoption of use by neurologists than they were in just having it remain on the market and possibly turn out to be a dud. They wanted to protect the franchise and the only way they could so it is by preserving their credibility through taking the high road. Vioxx had already ramped to billion dollar status, so Merck was reluctant to pull it. Yet, Tysabri had just come on the market and was at the earliest stage of its ramp, so it was the future profits that had to be protected. So far, they haven't lost any credibility in the neurology community. How can you fault them for looking at patient safety first? The real loss is in patient disability while the drug is on pause and I'm sorry for the patients who suffered through that. As far as investors who lost money go (myself included), we are at the bottom of the totem pole in regard to hierarchy of needs.

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