No end to the pain at Biovail

You have to feel for the shareholders of Biovail. Today at the drug company’s annual general meeting in Toronto investors were forced to choose between two difficult options—the pain of uncertainty, or the certainty of pain. They went with the former.

Founder and former CEO Eugene Melnyk was attempting to have his own slate of directors installed at the company. He argued Biovail’s shares have lost nearly half their value this year under the current management’s plodding strategy of pursuing new drugs. The company, meanwhile, warned shareholders that reinstalling the old CEO would guarantee a return of the legal and regulatory clouds that hung over the company during the Melnyk era.

Regardless of the shareholders’ decision, Melnyk looks intent on taking his fight to the courts. Biovail investors can be certain of only one thing. Whatever the outcome, their pain is far from over.