Friday, April 8, 2011

FDA refuses to approve Merck HPV treatment Gardasil for older women

Merck (NYSE: MRK) announced that it's Gardasil HPV (Human Papillomavirus) treatment is not effective in women over the age of 26 (specifically, ages 27-45). Although it had applied to the FDA to extend treatment for use by this age group, approval was denied.

Sales of Gardasil have been declining, as the market for this drug has been saturated. Gardasil is approved for young women (and also young men, aged 9-26). This is the second time that the FDA has disallowed wider use of the vaccine.

The full text of Merck's announcement can be found here:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Flu symptoms visits decrease for 6th straight week

Doctor visits for influenza-like illness decreased for the sixth straight week, as problems associated with the flu continue to fall.

According to the CDC's (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) weekly Fluview update, only one state in their survey showed an increase in flu symptoms (Idaho).

From the weekly report: "# Visits to doctors for influenza-like illness (ILI) nationally decreased again for the sixth consecutive week, falling below the national baseline for the first time since the week ending December 25, 2010. However two of 10 U.S regions—Regions 2 and 10—continue to report ILI activity at or above baseline levels. One state (Idaho) had high ILI activity."

The full report can be found here: