By: Shelley DuBois
07 September 2010
FORTUNE — There’s a liquid drug that women can get injected into a layer of muscle — three separate times over a six-month period — that can protect them from a kind of cancer. From a scientific perspective, that’s amazing. In terms of public health, it’s a breakthrough.
But four years after Merck (MRK, Fortune 500) released this would-be top-seller, called Gardasil, it has proven to be a marketplace dud. In Merck’s second quarter, the company reported an 18% year-over-year drop in sales to $219 million and its stock is down nearly 3% to date. Analysts are pointing to Gardasil not as a savior, but as a risk for investors.
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