Merck’s Back-to-School Special…

…Push Gardasil to achieve greater vaccination rates

Less then a month after a JAMA article critized Merck for aggressively marking Gardasil, Merck is planning a big-time advertising push on Gardasil, hoping to revive flagging sales of the human papillomavirus vaccine. As Advertising Age reports, the drugmaker i’s plotting its campaign for the big back-to-school shopping season.

Besides ramping up ad spending, Merck is participating in vaccine-day events with doctors’ offices and clinics, providing posters, direct-mail pieces, and pocket cards. “Resources were made available several months ago to support execution during the back-to-school time frame,” a Merck spokeswoman told AdAge.

During Merck’s recent earnings call, EVP Ken Frazier touted the Gardasil push, saying he expected “sequential growth” in the vaccine’s sales “as we leverage the back-to-school season.” Second-quarter sales amounted to $268 million, down 28 percent from the same period last year and 18 percent from two years ago.

But–and this is a big ‘but’–Frazier also said during that call that the 13-to-18-year-old market for Gardasil has already peaked. So despite the back-to-school campaign, Merck is looking outside that age group for any real growth in the vaccine. Frazier said the company is “firmly committed to achieving greater vaccination rates in the 19-to-26 age group.” And it’s still hoping for new indications–for boys and for women up to age 45–from the FDA.

See Full  AdAge article


Author: H. Sandra Chevalier-Batik

I started the Inconvenient Woman Blog in 2007, and am the product of a long line of inconvenient women. The matriarchal line is French-Canadian, Roman Catholic, with a very feisty Irish great-grandmother thrown in for sheer bloody mindedness. I am a research analyst and author who has made her living studying technical data, and developing articles, training materials, books and web content. Tracking through statistical data, and oblique cross-references to find the relevant connections that identifies a problem, or explains a path of action, is my passion. I love clearly delineating the magic questions of knowledge: Who, What, Why, When, Where and for How Much, Paid to Whom. My life lessons: listen carefully, question with boldness, and personally verify the answers. I look at America through the appreciative eyes of an immigrant, and an amateur historian; the popular and political culture is a ceaseless fascination. I have no impressive initials after my name. I’m merely an observer and a chronicler, an inconvenient woman who asks questions, and sometimes encourages others to look at things differently.