Merck Wants a New Drug – Vioxx, Zocor, Gardasil and Cancer

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

Google News headlines today read… “Merck cutbacks: 7,000 jobs, 5 plants” spurred by an announcement made by Merck yesterday.

According to various news articles, Merck, the world’s third-largest drugmaker, will be closing 5 plants in the wake of 6,400 lawsuits that have been filed related to problems with drugs they manufacture. Merck is the maker of Vioxx and Zocor.

According to one article, Merck has set aside $675 million for legal bills related to Vioxx, but nothing for liability. Wall Street analysts are projecting liability costs at between $5 billion and $30 billion.

Merck is moving forward and focusing on the furutre. According to the former head of Mercks manufacturing operations, the company is looking for ways to “improve the way we discover, develop, manufacture and market our medicines and vaccines and ensure that we get them to patients who need them as quickly, safely and efficiently as possible.”

According to some articles, one of Mercks products in the pipeline is a cervical-cancer and genital wart vaccine called Gardasil. Interesting that is being touted in the press as a cancer vaccine since the information I found states it is a Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine. Cancer sounds more alarming than HPV, don’t you think?

According to a medical news website recently publishing a report on the Gardasil vaccine, “it is estimated that approximately 20 million American men and women are infected with HPV. In most people, HPV appears to go away on its own. In some, the virus has been linked to cervical cancer, abnormal pap tests and genital warts.”

There are four known types of Human Papilloma Virus, HPV 6, 11, 16, and 18. In the medical review, the senior director of Clinical Research at Merck Research Laboratories states, “HPV types 6 or 11 are not linked to cervical cancer, but they can cause abnormal Pap smears, which then lead to additional tests – and unnecessary worries about cancer.”

Here is how I see it…
Approximately twenty million American men and women = Potential $$$ for Merck
When the marketing hits I bet there will be lots of talk of cancer and ugly, painful genital warts. There will be lots of ads with people that look just like you and me. There will not be any mention (or little if any) that HPV appears to go away on its own. Remember, it is not a cancer vaccine, it is a virus vaccine. At this time it is investigational, meaning it is still undergoing clinical studies. Let’s wait and see what the marketing says. My bet is that it will be that the marketing will up play the cancer and down play the “goes away on its own” part.

Seattletimes: Merck cutbacks: 7,000 jobs, 5 plants
Newsday: Merck to cut 7,000 jobs
Seattlepi: Drug maker to cut 7,000 jobs
Medical News Today: Gardasil HPV Vaccine Reduced Infection and Disease in New Clinical Study

Some interesting chiropractic comparisons to make…
Merck & Co. has been in business for 114 years, established in 1891. Chiropractors have been in business for 110 years, established in 1895.
Merck has nearly 63,000 employees. There are approximately 63,000 licensed chiropractors practicing in the United States. @ 1:09 pm | Article ID: 1133287761