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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Vaccine Paves Merck's Road with Gold

But at What Cost?

Numerous reports of serious adverse reactions and deaths are being reported following Gardasil injections. Both Merck and the FDA are claiming it is not related to the vaccine. Oh, yes, I recall this as "blame the victim".

See related posts on this BLOG, FMI, and decide for yourself.

And did they tell you about informed consent before you opted in for this one?

Merck’s net income soars 63%

Fueled by a doubling in its sales of vaccines, Merck & Co. today reported a 63 percent rise in net income for the third quarter.

Merck, whose vaccine operations are headquartered in West Point, Montgomery County, made more money because it cut costs by two percent as revenues rose by 12 percent.

Driving sales for the the third largest U.S. drugmaker were Merck's newer, heavily marketed drugs, including its top seller, the asthma drug Singulair, the diabetes medicine Januvia and the HPV vaccine Gardasil.

Merck's put aside another $70 million for the legal defense of the painkiller Vioxx, which was pulled from the market in 2004. Merck faces about 26,600 suits nationwide. It set aside $598 million in the 2006 third quarter. The company has not put aside any money for verdicts, a company release said.

Sales for the quarter were $6.1 billion, up from $5.4 billion in the third quarter of 2006. Net income increased to $1.5 billion from $941 million. And earnings from diluted shares rose to 70 cents from 43 cents.

Total vaccine sales were $1.2 billion, up from $555 million. Leading the vaccine sector was Gardasil, the new vaccine against the human papilloma virus, which chalked up $418 million for the quarter.

Merck's stock had risen 81 cents or 1.6 percent to $53.95 by midday.

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