Pharma Analyst: Stocks Healthy Despite Bad News

Eli Lilly
Eli Lilly

For the second time this week, big pharma is taking a beating from critical reports about medications. This time, it's antidepressants. But one analyst thinks the drag on shares is overdone -- and names "exciting" pharma stocks.

A report in the New England Journal of Medicine released Thursday suggests that the effectiveness of antidepressants may have been overstated in the ways in which clinical trials have been presented to the public.

The possible revelation comes hot on the heels of the study that suggested that Vytorin, co-produced by Merck and Schering-Plough, may not be more effective than an earlier formulation from the duo. Both firms' shares slipped on the news, with Schering losing another 10 % today.

The top makers of antidepressants -- Eli Lilly, Wyeth, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer -- saw their shares fall today.

But Les Funtleyder, pharma analyst at Miller Tabak, says investors should stay the course on these drugmakers -- and remember that they have many other products besides the marquee names.

"Merck in particular has a very exciting pipeline," says Funtleyder, also praising Bristol-Myers Squibb and Novartis.


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