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Schering CEO Speaks on Vytorin

So much for “open scientific discourse.” That’s what Schering-Plough CEO Fred Hassan said he was expecting from experts at an American College of Cardiology conference in Chicago this past weekend. Instead the panel, discussing the study results of cholesterol drug Vytorin, announced that older treatments, and other generic drugs, were more effective.

According to at least one account, the question-and-answer that was supposed to follow the presentation of the study’s data never came. And that’s what has Schering’s Hassan so upset: The study results were known before the conference, but they were never discussed in an “open scientific forum” as originally planned. “Had there been such a process,” Hassan said, “and had there been convergence and consensus after that, we’d be fine with that. But that never happened.” The CEO said his company’s still looking for the chance to openly discuss the study’s results.

“We stand behind our science,” Hassan said. “We stand behind our product.”

Schering-Plough and Merck, the partner in the Vytorin joint venture, plummeted during Monday trading, dropping 26% and 15%, respectively. Cramer called it “a disaster of unfathomable proportions.”

So how do you trade it? Cramer, whose charitable trust owns SGP, said the stock’s cheap, but, “You have to make up your own mind.”

“When someone’s been as wrong as I’ve been on Schering,” Cramer said, “you have to do your own work.”

Watch the full interview with Schering-Plough CEO Fred Hassan.

Jim's charitable trust owns Schering-Plough

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