Above the rise of Merck's Gardasil vaccine, a specter is looming - (MarketWatch via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Although Merck & Co. has enjoyed growing sales of its Gardasil vaccine franchise, a new US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation could dampen revenue, MarketWatch reported Friday.

  • Sales of Gardasil and the new formulation Gardasil 9 accounted for $542 million of the $700 million in sales generated by Merck's vaccines portfolio in the fourth quarter.

  • Meanwhile, the CDC recently recommended that teenagers aged 15 and young only need two doses of the three-dose regimen.

  • Merck chief financial officer Robert Davis, who explained that there should be a "rapid transition" to the two-dose regimen this year, suggested the change "will have a negative impact on sales in the US."

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