Another Crisis Communications Case Study in Pharmaceuticals?

I am sure all of you have heard the same thing: it is crucial to learn how to operate in a crisis, but hopefully never have to practice it.

Unfortunately for the people at Merck & Co. and Schering-Plough Corp., they were put into the position to practice what they know. Earlier this month, information came out that their cholesterol drug, Vytorin, works no better than the separate drugs of Zetia or Zocor.

Now this isnt any regular situation. These studies were done in 2006 and took over 21 months for the companies to release them; saying that the data was too complex and wanted to do more research.

Well during that time, Vytorin ads flooded our televisions and settled down in the minds of many TV viewers. And with this new information out, the two companies are using just as much money to save the product as they used to promote it. Take a look at the Jan. 22 article at Adage .

How do you rate the response of Merck & Co. and Schering-Plough Corp.? Can this be studied as another effective case study for crisis communications or as others like to call it, “damage control?”

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