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Two Pharmaceutical Rivals Team Up on Vaccine

Merck will help Johnson & Johnson manufacture and distribute newly approved vaccine

(Newser) - Drugmaker Merck will help produce rival Johnson & Johnson’s newly approved coronavirus vaccine , per the AP . The announcement comes as the White House looks to speed the production of the single-dose vaccine. Officials have said J&J faced unexpected production issues with its vaccine and produced only 3.9...

One of the Nation's Few Black CEOs Is Stepping Down

Ken Frazier's departure at Merck reduces the number at Fortune 500 companies to 3

(Newser) - Ken Frazier, the longtime chief executive of Merck and one of the few remaining Black CEOs of a Fortune 500 company, is retiring, per the AP . Frazier, Merck's CEO for the past decade, will be replaced by Rob Davis, the chief financial officer, the company said Thursday. Frazier will...

Drug Shows Dramatic Results in Lung Cancer Trial

New hope in fight against the most common form of lung cancer

(Newser) - For the first time, a treatment that boosts the immune system greatly improved survival in people newly diagnosed with the most common form of lung cancer, the AP reports. In the study, Merck's Keytruda, given with chemotherapy, cut in half the risk of dying or having the cancer...

Trump Lashes Out at CEO Who Criticized Va. Response

Merck's Kenneth Frazier quits federal panel in protest

(Newser) - Critics of President Trump's response to racial violence in Virginia have been waiting to see whether he will condemn white supremacists on Monday. He may yet do that, but first he condemned one of those critics. "Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President'...

Ebola Vaccine 100% Effective: 'We Will Not Be Defenseless'

rVSV-ZEBOV has been fast-tracked by regulators

(Newser) - Excellent news as 2016 draws to a close: Scientists say they've created an Ebola vaccine that appears to be 100% effective. In a trial involving more than 11,000 at-risk people in Guinea, nobody given the vaccine developed the virus after a 10-day incubation period, researchers wrote in a...

Inside the Odd Origins of an Allegedly Ruinous Hair-Loss Drug

Propecia's backstory begins with 'male pseudo hermaphrodites'

(Newser) - It's a little pink pill taken once daily and prescribed to millions of men. A sliver of those users allege it was a devastating choice. Writing for Tonic , Lisa Marshall reports a class-action suit against Merck over finasteride, better known as Propecia, will be heard late next year. In...

Ebola Vaccine Trial Halted Over Side Effects

Leading vaccine candidate delayed by joint pain in volunteers

(Newser) - Swiss researchers have suspended the testing of one of the leading Ebola vaccine candidates after some volunteers reported unexpected side effects. In a statement issued today, the University of Geneva Hospital said the trial—which had vaccinated 59 people since November—had been suspended "as a precautionary measure."...

After Cows' Feet Fall Apart, Feedlot Drug Is Questioned
After Cows' Feet Fall Apart,
Feedlot Drug Is Questioned

After Cows' Feet Fall Apart, Feedlot Drug Is Questioned

Reuters' special report zeroes in on Merck's muscle-building Zilmax

(Newser) - It's no surprise that America's cattle are pumped full of pharmaceuticals , but Reuters digs in to one particular drug—a muscle-building feed additive known as Zilmax that's manufactured by Merck and has been available in the US since 2007—whose alleged ill effects may be painfully visible....

Birth Control Called 'Deadly,' Still Sells Bigtime

NuvaRing known to cause scary blood clots

(Newser) - A potentially deadly contraceptive called NuvaRing is still on the US market—but why? That's what Marie Brenner aimed to find out in Vanity Fair . She learned that NuvaRing maker Merck made $623 million selling NuvaRing last year, despite users who developed terrifying blood clots and filed roughly 3,...

HPV Vaccine Price to Plummet for Poor Countries

Merck, GlaxoSmthKline will offer them for less than $5

(Newser) - Two of the world's biggest drug companies have agreed to slash the price of their HPV vaccines—which currently cost around $130 a dose in the US—down to less than $5 in some developing nations, the companies announced today. Thanks to a deal negotiated by the nonprofit GAVI...

Merck Pays $950M to Settle Vioxx Charges

Feds accused company of illegal marketing

(Newser) - Drug maker Merck will pay $950 million to resolve investigations into its marketing of the painkiller Vioxx. The Justice Department said Merck will pay $321.6 million in criminal fines and $628.4 million as a civil settlement agreement. The company also will plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge that...

HPV Vaccine-Maker Merck, Perry Cozier Than Claimed

Made major donations to Republican Governors Assocation

(Newser) - Rick Perry told Michele Bachmann in Monday night's GOP debate that he received only a $5,000 donation from HPV vaccine maker Merck, but his financial ties to the drug maker are closer than that figure suggests, the Washington Post finds. Perry's campaigns have received almost $30,000...

Tough Choice for Bald Men: Hair or Sex?

Those taking finasteride likely to experience long-lasting effects

(Newser) - Tough news for the follicly challenged: Balding men taking finasteride, Merck's prescription drug that goes by the names Propecia and Proscar, may find they have trouble in bed—for a long while. Though the drug's label warns of "reversible" symptoms of sexual dysfunction, a small survey of 76 men...

Disgraced Doctors Land at Big Pharma
 Disgraced Doctors 
 Land at Big Pharma 


Disgraced Doctors Land at Big Pharma

Hundreds of pitchmen found to have blemished records

(Newser) - Pharmaceutical companies say they hire highly respected doctors as their white-coat sales force, peddling their drugs to other physicians. But a Pro Publica investigation has discovered that hundreds of these pitchmen have been accused of professional misconduct, been disciplined by state boards, or lacked credentials. Medical board records in the...

After 20 Years, Scientists Crack HIV Puzzle

Enzyme integrase made visible for first time

(Newser) - After 40,000 failed trials and "painstakingly slow progress," scientists have solved a puzzle that stumped AIDS researchers for more than 20 years—and their findings could help develop more effective HIV drugs. The researchers at Harvard and Imperial College London grew a crystal that for the first...

Drugmakers Hike Prices Ahead of Reform

9% rise, in a year of falling prices, will add $10B to drug spending

(Newser) - Bracing for health care reform, drug companies have been raising prices at the fastest rate in almost 20 years—even as they pledge to support Washington's goal of cutting the nation's drug bill. The pharmaceutical industry is scrambling to get the price base as high as possible before legislation to...

Cervical Cancer Vaccine Linked to 32 Deaths

Teen-targeted Gardasil also tied to blood clots, fainting in gov't study

(Newser) - Gardasil, the cervical cancer vaccine marketed to teen girls, has been linked to 32 deaths and other serious side effects including fainting and blood clots, according to a government report released yesterday. Since 2006, several complications of the vaccine have been reported, ABC News reports, ranging from neurological disorders to...

Tech Snaps Nadaq's Streak; Dow Climbs 24

Amazon, Microsoft fall after weak earnings

(Newser) - The tech sector exerted downward pressure on stocks today, snapping the Nasdaq’s 12-day winning streak, the Wall Street Journal reports. Microsoft sank 8.9% after reporting a 29% drop in quarterly earnings, while Amazon fell 8.3% after also reporting a disappointing quarter. Alcoa, Pfizer, and Merck helped the...

Spending on Health Care Lobbying Up 41%

Drug, insurance companies oppose public insurance

(Newser) - As the health care debate heats up in Washington, insurance and drug companies are keeping their lobbyists busy. So far this year, those industries have increased their lobbyist spending by 41% as they fight a proposed public insurance plan, USA Today reports. That's $35 million in the first quarter for...

Drugs, Oil Push Dow Up 50
 Drugs, Oil Push Dow Up 50 

Drugs, Oil Push Dow Up 50

(Newser) - Financials dipped today as firms continued stock sell-offs to finance TARP repayments, but strong performance by drug and energy companies stabilized the market, the Wall Street Journal reports. Merck and Pfizer were up as much as 2% and 6%, respectively; oil got a boost from $60 barrels. The Dow was...

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