Bloomberg reported last week that Merck & Co. will stop lobbying state officials to require girls receive the Gardasil vaccine:
Merck made the decision after groups including the American Academy of Pediatrics said there wasn’t enough state funding to pay for the $360 vaccine or public acceptance … Texas this month became the first state, among about 20 considering legislation, to require school-aged girls to get the shot. Merck began its campaign for the vaccine among state lawmakers even before it was approved in June 2006.
Merck’s management, along with Wall Street, are banking on Gardasil to be the savior of the company’s depleted pipelines. The drug recorded $155 million in revenues in the fourth quarter of 2006, and is projected to bring up to $3 billion annually into Merck’s coffers.
Unfortunately for Merck, the public finally may be getting tired of Big Pharma’s arrogant power plays.25