A famous defense attorney who sometimes handles BigPharma suits makes this observation about the Merck settlement, off the record:
"I think the chap from Kirkland had it right (what a frightening utterance!). The time was right to strike a deal.
"The transaction costs were enormous (if you only knew the total defense costs) and the possibility of just such reversals entered into the plaintiffs' agreement to settle. We all knew that Judge Higbee's ridiculous rulings would not stand, and that uncertainty closed the settlement gap. Further, the strain in time, resources, personnel and psychic and emotional energy was crippling the company. They had to get it behind them and move on - straight into Vytorin as it turned out."