Thursday, August 21, 2008

Investigations: Merck Vaccine Campaign Paid Doctors, Nurses $4,500 Per 50-Minute Talk

Hundreds of U.S. doctors and nurses were signed up as unofficial spokespeople and paid $4,500 for each 50-minute talk they gave to other medical professionals as part of a marketing campaign by pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. to promote its cervical-cancer vaccine Gardasil, says this in-depth New York Times report. Many of the professionals were also paid for attending Merck advisory board meetings. The efforts have broken new ground in pharmaceutical marketing and earned Merck plaudits at the 2008 Pharmaceutical Advertising and Marketing Excellence awards. Meanwhile, controversy about cervical-cancer vaccines hasn't abated despite the muscular marketing campaign, the Times story says.

TAGS: pharma, drugs, investigations, vaccines

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