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Published on 13 December 2007

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Merck upbeat on future performance


Pharmaceutical giant Merck has announced it will seek regulatory approval from the Food and Drug Administration in the US for new cholesterol and obesity drugs next year.

The company also revealed that five other drugs are now in the final testing phase.

Executives said strong sales from several new products, and existing drugs such as allergy and asthma treatments, should offset declining revenues as patents expire.

The news comes five weeks after Merck reached an agreement to settle up to 50,000 Vioxx (rofecoxib) lawsuits for $4.85bn (£2.36bn).

The painkiller was pulled from the market after researchers from the company found the drug doubled the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Merck chief executive Richard Clark said the company is “firmly on track” to hit its financial goals, and is building on successful launches of seven new products in the past two years.

Those include medications for diabetes, a new type of HIV drug, and vaccines such as Gardasil to prevent cervical cancer.

“I am obviously pleased with the success we’ve achieved in increasing revenue,” he added.

Copyright © PA Business 2007


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