The CDC doesn't currently recommend Merck's shingles vaccine, Zostavax, for those between the ages of 50 and 60. And a new analysis of the vaccine's cost-effectiveness in that population suggests it should stay that way.
GlaxoSmithKline's in-development shingles vaccine successfully staved off the virus in a massive Phase III study--and, in contrast with its top competitor, the shot's effects didn't wane among elderly patients.
Not enough people are being vaccinated against shingles, and those who are at the highest risk for the painful viral infection, such as those with immunosuppressive disorders like HIV, are not able to receive the vaccine because of safety issues, according to a new study.
The tightening of healthcare budgets has driven countries across Europe to demand more evidence of a vaccine's value before agreeing to reimburse the product. And with each country having its own decision-making processes, this places a significant burden on companies.
Analysts predicted Merck shingles vaccine Zostavax would be a blockbuster when it was first released in 2006. But Merck quickly ran into manufacturing and supply issues, putting a damper on sales and expectations. A $1 billion upgrade has put its production problems behind it and posed Merck for expansion even as demand for Zostavax has jumped.
Since overcoming supply-constraining manufacturing problems Merck ($MRK) has seen uptake of its shingles vaccine Zostavax rise. Now, with U.S. sales growing and an international rollout underway, FDA has approved a Merck plant in North Carolina to produce the bulk varicella used in the vaccine.
Sales of GlaxoSmithKline's rotavirus vaccine Rotarix and Merck's shingles vaccine Zostavax will be buoyed by their inclusion on the U.K. national immunization schedule.
When Merck's ($MRK) shingles vaccine Zostavax was approved in 2006, Sanford C. Bernstein analysts tipped it to peak at $300 million a year. During a renewed push last year, others speculated sales could top $1 billion. Yet Zostavax has fallen short of its potential.
Chickenpox was once an almost unavoidable part of growing up. But now, thanks to Merck's Varivax vaccine, the number of chickenpox cases and related hospitalizations have declined dramatically.
A new study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases suggests a link between untreated depression in older adults and decreased effectiveness of the herpes zoster shot.