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Merck's Vaccines: Why the Company's Down, but Definitely Not Out

Executive Summary

Given it's late-stage pharma failures, Merck now finds itself importantly dependent on its vaccine pipeline--the majority of its phase III projects. Its commitment to innovation and willingness to self-fund large programs created major vaccines with drug-like potential, and little competition, itself a hallmark of the business to which Merck, and few other companies, has remained loyal. But the costs and risks of the program raise questions as to its long-term viability at a time when Merck's profits are under increasing pressure.

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