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  • The Governor of Texas announced on Friday that all girls entering the sixth grade in his state must get Merck's new vaccine, Gardasil, before they can enroll. Gardasil prevents four strains of the sexually-transmitted disease known as HPV which is the leading cause of cervical cancer. It works best when given before becoming sexually active. But the political and social backlash has already begun.

  • The Eli Lilly-Icos joint venture reported that worldwide sales of their erectile dysfunction drug came to $971 million last year -- and is now on the cusp of becoming a billion-dollar blockbuster drug in 2007.  We will find out how Viagra is doing when Pfizer reports earnings before the bell on Monday morning, but sales growth is expected to have picked up.  These results represent a significant turnaround in a drug segment that some thought had already had its day.

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    You’ll find some of the most influential figures in modern healthcare in San Francisco today, gathered together for the 25th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference.  This year, 6500 people are attending, including CNBC’s Mike Huckman who is sifting through volumes of data. In a  "First on CNBC,"  Huckman spoke with James Sabry, M.D./Ph. D., the CEO of Cytokinetics. 

  • A study being published in a major medical journal confirms the promise of a breast cancer drug from GlaxoSmithKline that's awaiting the approval of the Food and Drug Administration, CNBC's Mike Huckman reports.

  • It looks like the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) chose fractures as the theme of its new issue.  One study shows that taking a popular osteoporosis drug for 5 years and then going off of it for 5 years carries a residual beneficial effect almost as if the patient stayed on the drug for all 10 years. Merck paid for the study of its #3-selling drug, Fosamax. The only exception was a 55% increased risk of fractures of the spine for those who stopped taking Fosamax. Doctors say that means...

  • The same rare, but fatal viral infection that forced Biogen Idec and Elan to recall, and recently relaunch, the multiple sclerosis drug, Tysabri, may also be a side effect of Rituxan, also from Biogen Idec and Genentech. In an SEC filing -- not a press release -- and on the FDA website, the companies and the agency disclosed yesterday evening that two people with lupus died after taking Rituxan.

  • GlaxoSmithKline has bought global rights to Danish biotech company Genmab's most promising new drug, a treatment for leukemia, in a record deal worth up to $2.1 billion, the two firms said on Tuesday.

  • Treatment with antidepressants increases the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in patients up to age 24, according to proposed changes to the drugs' labels unveiled by health officials.

  • Earlier this year a crew working for documentary filmmaker Michael Moore "crashed" the major scientific oncology conference in Atlanta. Moore's reportedly working on a movie with the working title of "Sicko" about the country's healthcare system and the pharmaceutical industry.