As HPV data stacks up, Merck touts Gardasil for boys

Fierce Pharma

July 21, 2011 — 10:29am ET | By

Merck’s ($MRK) Gardasil journey is becoming a saga, with twists and turns all over the place. When first approved, the vaccine against human papillomavirus was tagged as a no-brainer blockbuster.

But uptake of the vaccine hit a snag; after about a third of eligible girls were vaccinated, sales growth stalled. The company’s bid to expand marketing to older women fell short. But then the FDA decided to approve Gardasil for use in

Genital warts aren’t cancer, as the New York Times points out. And persuading young men and parents to get Gardasil for “herd immunity” purposes–the idea that vaccinating boys might protect girls against cervical cancer, too–is an iffy proposition. “You do a public service by getting your child vaccinated,” Jane Kim, an assistant professor at Harvard School of Public Health, told the newspaper, but acknowledged that for some parents, that’s a tough sell.

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