Posted by: shoji | October 12, 2007

Merck’s comeback

Below is an excerpt from CNN.com about Merck’s quiet resurgence over the past several years following the Vioxx controversy.

To the article’s credit, it notes that Merck’s FDA approvals for

    seven

drugs since fall 2005 have been in research and development many years prior to the Vioxx lows.

One important point is the different time scales by which “Wall Street” and R&D operate. Another time scale to consider is public opinion and the public’s understanding of the R&D challenges and expenditures.

Merck gets FDA approval of HIV drug – Oct. 12, 2007
But in the three years since the Vioxx debacle, Merck has quietly been on a comeback. Although revenue growth has been stagnant in the midst of CEO Richard Clark’s “roadmap” to recovery plan, Merck has released several promising medicines that should boost earnings in coming years. Of the seven medicines Merck has rolled out since fall of 2005, five (including Isentress) have been unique innovations. Those medicines include Gardasil, a vaccine to fight a cervical cancer-causing virus known as HPV, Januvia, a diabetes medicine, Rotateq, a vaccine for rotavirus, and Zostavax, a shingles vaccine. Back in 2003 and 2004, few observers gave these drugs any chance of achieving blockbuster sales status.

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