Yet another boon came yesterday for Wyeth in its protracted diet drugs litigation, after a US judge overturned an earlier verdict which would have seen the US giant lose almost $1.4 million dollars in compensation for alleged heart valve injury.

Last year, Wyeth swung into a loss after booking a $4.5 billion dollar charge to cover the Redux (dexfenfluramine) and Pondimin (fenfluramine) diet drug charges [[01/02/05a]]. The news brought the firm’s total legal reserves to $21 billion.

Whilst a relatively small sum in the grand scheme of things, Wyeth will be pleased to hang onto every last cent. In the cases of Lucy Hansen versus Wyeth, Joyce Jensen versus Wyeth and Mildred Hill versus Wyeth, the Court has set aside the jury's November 3, 2004 verdict in these cases and ordered a new trial after determining the testimony of the plaintiffs’ only expert witness to be inadequate. “On cross-examination [of Dr Busch], it was systematically demonstrated that many of the scientific bases on which his opinion supposedly relied were illogical, inapplicable, or employed circular reasoning,” the court said.