New Merck ad for Gardasil is sparking controversy - do they tell the hard truths, or are they guilt-tripping parents? Earlier this summer, Merck began airing new commercials for Gardasil. These commercials (which show an adult man and an adult woman talking about how they had cancers caused by HPV, and then show video clips in a "rewind" to a child actor who asks if their parents knew that their cancer could have been prevented), have upset some who say that the ad bullies parents. Proponents of the ads say the ads give parents the facts necessary to hold them accountable. [more inside]
"Danger in the Ring." According to Karen, a doctor in the emergency room asked her over the phone: “Was your daughter using birth control?” Karen said, “Yes, NuvaRing.” He removed the device and said, “I thought so, because she’s having a pulmonary embolism.” [more inside]
Feast your senses (including, perhaps, your sense of outrage) on this Merck Vioxx sales training video, presented in 3 parts without commercial interruption (heh) by the often interesting Pharmalot. [more inside]
In September 2001 the FDA warned Merck, makers of the painkiller Vioxx, for engaging in a promotional campaign that minimized "potentially serious cardiovascular findings." The previous year, Merck spent $161 million on Vioxx advertising (more than Pepsi or Budweiser spent on advertising that year). Earlier this year, a securities class action complaint was filed on behalf of several Merck investors alleging the company engaged in a marketing campaign that included false and misleading statements concerning the safety profile of Vioxx and that company insiders sold personally held shares of Merck for over $175 million in proceeds. Today, Merck withdrew Vioxx from the market.
Merck to lower prices of HIV drugs for Africa It's not perfect and it's not much of a decrease, but it's a start and long overdue.