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profits 47 articles

Bayer targets Brazil for future sales of birth control pills

Bayer AG has its eyes set on the Latin American country Brazil to win back profits lost from lawsuits and bad press surrounding its blockbuster birth control pill Yaz. The German pharmaceutical company announced this week that it expects to post double-digit annual growth in Brazil through the next four years, from 15 billion in 2008 to a whopping $27 billion by 2015. Chairman Andreas Fibig told reporters at a press conference in Sao Paulo that the company’s strong market position in Brazil, paired with new products that will be introduced to the Latin American market in the months and ... Read More

Merck cuts more jobs as Vytorin, Zetia sales drop

Global sales of Vytorin fell 18 percent, while sales of Zetia dropped by 12 percent in the third quarter. The loss of sales revenue from the two drugs, combined with difficult economic conditions worldwide, have led drug maker Merck to announce that it will cut its workforce by 12 percent. These newest job cuts come on top of cutbacks that Merck made as part of an earlier restructuring program. Merck began eliminating 10,400 jobs from its global workforce in 2005 and completed that set of cutbacks last month. Merck’s Chief Executive, Richard Clark, acknowledged the company faced a challenging economic ... Read More

Vytorin loses market strength … again

Clinical trials haven’t been kind to Vytorin, Merck and Schering-Plough’s cholesterol brainchild. The first blow was dealt by the ENHANCE study, which showed Vytorin to be no more effective than much cheaper generic statins. Next came results of the SEAS trial, which indicated a link between Vytorin and risk of cancer and death by cancer. A flurry of disputed interpretations, accusations, and controversy followed in the wake of the trials. Most analysts expected the market for Vytorin to bottom out over the summer after the SEAS results became public — an event that many felt would deal the already wounded ... Read More

New Haven wants to recover Vytorin money

Should municipalities be allowed to reclaim the money it spent on expensive prescriptions if the prescribed drug turns out to be a dud? For the city of New Haven, CT, the answer is yes. According to a report in the New Haven Independent , the city’s top lawyer, John Ward, wants more than $400,000 back from Vytorin manufacturers Merck and Schering-Plough. New Haven City Hall spent more than $400,000 on Vytorin and Zetia (ezetimibe) prescriptions for members of the city’s healthcare plan when it could have spent a fraction of that amount for cheaper generic statins that have proven to ... Read More

Merck speeds trial of new cholesterol drug

Following Vytorin’s recent fall from its blockbuster status, Merck is ratcheting up studies of its new cholesterol fighting drug, The Washington Times reported. MK-0524A, as the new drug is called, is the subject of a study based in Oxford University in England. Merck submitted the drug to the FDA for approval, but it was rejected last April. The FDA wanted results from the study known as THRIVE (Treatment of HDL to Reduce the Incidence of Vascular Events) before it made another ruling. The study already involves 20,000 people from the UK, Scandinavia, and China who are taking the experimental drug. ... Read More

scientist cautions against dismissing Vytorin-cancer link

Does Vytorin increase the risk of cancer death? The question seems like it would be simple to answer, yet finding the answer requires navigating through a murky labyrinth of botched test results, apparent cover-ups, possible payoffs, and a whorl of conflicting interpretations that sometimes resemble self-interest, sometimes truth, depending on whom you ask. The University of Washington’s Thomas Fleming is one respected statistician and adviser to the FDA who cautions against dismissing Vytorin’s link to cancer as merely an anomaly. Leading researchers involved with the SEAS study, which uncovered a Vytorin-cancer link, maintain that the results were a fluke. In ... Read More

Vytorin scandals evoke mistrust

Is Schering-Plough’s motto, “To Earn Trust, Every Day,” laced with a little irony these days? What about Merck’s maxim “Where patients come first?” Does it evoke feelings of warmth and trust or does it just induce rolling eyeballs? To be completely fair, pharmaceutical companies continually develop vaccines and medicines that improve the quality of life for millions of people throughout the world. Many modern pharmaceuticals also extend and save lives. In the western world, we can’t imagine life without these modern medicines. However, events surrounding the drug Vytorin have cast into doubt the intentions – and the integrity – of ... Read More