Pharma Updates: Pfizer Recalls Advil & Merck’s Propecia Causes Furor

by Trefis Team
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Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) recently recalled 65,000 bottles of Advil Liqui-Gels as they had strong odor due to over-processing of an ingredient in the medicine. [1] Separately, Merck (NYSE:MRK) is facing widespread furor over Propecia, a hair growth drug. Propecia and its generic Finasteride have been found to cause virility side effects. Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) is the largest drug maker in the U.S. and operates in four segments – pharmaceuticals, animal health, consumer healthcare and nutrition, whereas Merck (NYSE:MRK) has operations in pharmaceutical, animal health, consumer care and alliance segments.

See our complete analysis for: Pfizer | Merck

Pfizer Recalls Advil Liquid-Gels

Pfizer’s Advil is a pain relief medicine with an inactive ingredient gelatin. Pfizer found that the over-processing of gelatin caused strong odor and it hence recalled 650,000 units of the medicine. Drug makers have lately become increasingly careful about product quality as substandard products can cause litigation. Many pharma companies have been shelling out loads of cash into settlement of such issues. (See Pharma Updates: Pfizer to Pay $3.3 Million for Zyvox Probe, Merck Drug Rejected and Abbott Settles Depakote Suit For $1.5 billion; Urges FDA To Block Generics)

Advil is a consumer healthcare product reported under diversified legacy drugs and alliances. The continued quality issues may hamper the brand’s reputation. If sales are impacted, the company may lose further market share in diversified legacy drugs and alliances segment, which contributes nearly 32% to our $25 price estimate for PFE.

Merck’s Propecia Ruining Libido

Many patients who started using Propecia to regain lost hair have reported myriad conditions like anxiety, panic attacks, cognitive dysfunction and chronic insomnia. [2] However, the most horrifying side-effect is loss of libido with many victims showing signs of impotence.

Kevin Malley, a 30-year-old victim, was so devastated by the side-effects that he started a hunger strike outside Merck’s corporate headquarters in New Jersey.

Propecia is a drug which restricts the conversion of male hormone Testosterone to DHT, which has been associated with hair loss in males. However, the drug may have caused hormonal imbalances in the recipients impacting their virility. Many patients have shown no signs to regain libido even months after they stopped using the drug. Merck might have to stop the production of Propecia amid this rage.

Revenue from Propecia is reported in the legacy pharma, animal and consumer health segment of Merck, which contributes nearly 22% to our $42 price estimate. Propecia might contribute to the Merck’s declining market share in legacy pharma, animal and consumer health.

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Notes:
  1. Pfizer Recalls 650,000 Bottles of Advil Liqui-Gels, bloomberg.com, May 19, 2012 []
  2. Kevin Malley’s hunger-strike at Merck highlights Propecia’s devastating effects, examiner.com, May 18, 2012 []
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Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • I can do one better than just sell MRK shares. I'm hoping to do my part to short sell them into the ground and profit from their legal nightmare and pending demise with put options! *consult a financial professional before making any investment decisions, options carry additional risk and may expire worthless(which is what MRK is, worthless!)
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • Merck's equivalent to al qaeda and their leaders are no different from Bin Laden and his followers. True terrorists. MucK Ferck.
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • Completely destroyed my life and spend 8 years running around in clinics all over Europe to get my sexuality and metabolism back. All in vain. Testicles atrophied completely, Prostate damaged and inflammed and nothing seems to work, Adrenal Glands majorly malfunctioning need cortisol for life and Depression has set in for good. No libido, no erections, no pleasure, no strength, no motivation, messed up thoughts and a complete financial and academic disaster from just 1 and a half months of using the Propecia crap
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • propecia sufferers will not rest until the drug is recalled and merck contributes all that is necessary to find a cure for what they have done. propecia sufferers will not go away until they are cured. there will be no acceptions. merck will pay for these crimes against humanity. there is proof, lots of it!!!! merck is not untouchable, and they will pay dearly if they do not fix this.
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • this is shocking.
    recall propecia immediately
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • propecia destroyed my life
    i hope the world will know it

    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • I'm yet another man suffering the permanent sexual, physical and mental side effects of taking Propecia. I went from active and in physically in good shape to being nearly housebound due to these side effects. I was looking forward to having a family and a career now those hopes are gone in the name of profit for Merck. Shareholders should be aware there is PROOF Merck knew well these side effects occur but kept this drug on the market for years to destroy more lives in the name of profit. Those of us with these permenant side effects are NOT faceless hypocondriacs. We are your sons and your brothers. Take a stand with us and sell your Merck shares.
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • the bottom line ...

    PROPECIA VICTIMS WILL NOT REST UNTIL IT IS BANNED WORLD WIDE, NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES!!! MARK THESE WORDS MERCK....
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • the bottom line ...

    PROPECIA VICTIMS WILL NOT REST UNTIL IT IS BANNED WORLD WIDE, NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES!!! MARK THESE WORDS MERCK....
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • this is the must inhumane story i've ever heard from any company or individual's actions. Merck really did this? They are the real terrorists America faces, we should be fighting terrorists like Merck before we goto the middle east.
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • finasteride gave me persistent side effects, i hope to recover but it's really hard situation

    they have to provide a cure and research
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • If Merk Was humane, they would use some of the billions theyve made in prfot from Propecia to fund research figuring out why so many of these men get these permanent side effects and what can be done to fix it.
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • Even 5 years after quitting Propecia, I am still suffering numerous side effects from the drug -- including Peyronie's, which results in a curved penis. What's so horrific about Propecia is that it sometimes takes years for side effects to appear, and they do so very gradually. And contrary to what Merck says in its literature about the drug, most of the side effects NEVER resolve themselves. Worse is that, when the doctor prescribed Propecia to me back in in 2001, he said (verbatim quote here), "It's like taking vitamins. And some day, I expect ALL men will take it as a preventative measure." And no, that was not Dr. Frankenstein talking; he was (and is still) a respected Manhattan physician. So obviously, Merck was hiding the truth from this doctor -- and countless others around the globe. Vioxx redux? Yes it is. My message to any poor souls out there thinking of taking Propecia is this: Just Say No to Pro!
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • I am still suffering from the side effects of propecia, even though i quit the drug over a year ago. From my experience, propecia is HIGHLY DANGEROUS. Side effects such as insomnia, chronic fatigue, shrinkage of genitilia, impotence, cognitive dysfunction, gynecomastia (male breasts), prostate pain, testicular pain and complete loss of libido; all these side effects are persistent and continuing even after quitting the drug. I pray that the drug will be banned BEFORE ANOTHER LIFE GETS WRECKED.
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • Finally some real activity about a product that has devastated my life. I was completely healthy and active before this drug... Now I feel like a zombie. Worst mistake of my life was touching this drug.
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • 8 years ago i was a healthy athletic 25 y.o. professional. I had everything going on for me... happy, successful, and very healthy. I took the awful decision to take Propecia for hair loss. Within a year, i started to have memory problems, brain fog, cognitive problems, impotence, zero libido, digestion problems, and a depression so strong i did not know it was possible. This drug turned me into a 80 y.o man. In a few months i lost my job, had to end a relationship, and started an odissey from doctor to doctor trying to solve the problems this drug caused me. It has been six years since i quit, and very little has changed. I still cant work, Propecia turned me into a zombie. If you hold this stock, SELL IT FAST. There are class action lawsuits against Propecia already in four countries. Merck Knew all of these problems with propecia, it is IMPOSSIBLE this didnt show up in the clinical trials. It's the biggest cover up someone can imagine, and it worked for years to make billions in revenue. BUT all lies one day come to an END. Your days Merck of profit are soon to be over, MERCK.
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • Mercks days of treason are over, they can't hide this any longer, too many lives have been wasted for their precious moneys sake. All I can say is no amount of money can return my life to what it was before and there's no amount of justice that can make things right again, it's like being dead in every way but still breathing and having to suffer through day to day life. Merck should not be trusted by anyone, they have the money to be larger than government and have used their power in an irresponsible, terrible, selfish, destructive manner.
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • Merck need to answer for the thousands of live they are ruining with this drug. I took it for 1 week and it had turned my life upside down. Some people dont get sides, but THOUSANDS of others DO.

    WE NEED ANSWERS, before somebody has to pay in the wrong way!

    UP KEVIN MALLEY!!!!!!
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • Merck -what a bunch of theiving criminals! Pushing a drug like Propecia around the world with uncontrollable side effects, and, employing people to quieten any debate about the issues, by removing any negative comments on wikipedia and other internet sites. Get this poison recalled immediately.
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • propecia(finasteride) does work on hairloss but at what cost? i took it for a week and woke up with a limp dick. im telling anyone who are thinking of taking this drug. take at your own risk! if merck did'nt market this drug for hairloss i'll still be normal guy and my sex life would be great. no amount of hair would equal of having a normal sex life.
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • Propecia is one of the world's most dangerous drugs and should be recalled at once. Merck are staging a huge cover up on it's devestating effects on men. Evil evil poison.
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • Merck=murderers. Merck's crimes of murder and treason are being spread quickly. They know longer control the information. Their sophistry can't save them any longer. No more can they claim "no causal relationship" and other nonsensical, discredited bullshit. Shareholders, sell your stock as quickly as possible and don't look back. The lawsuits are coming.
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • I sure as hell don't know how the CEO sleeps at night after the VIOXX cases. He must be a real piece of shit. Mr. Kenneth Frazier... a real winner. I hope you sleep well at night knowing your company is ruining lives and you're not taking responsibility for it. You for sure have a special place in hell with your name waiting on you.
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • Yeah, I swear to God these Merck reps better have a hard time sleeping at night, or they are certainly not human. Not human... sounds like me after Propecia.
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • Propecia has ruined my life in every way! Merck should pay! I don't think I will trust any of their products again. No respect for innocent Americans.
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • Far worse than the loss of libido and erectile dysfunction i suffer from the use of propecia is the persistent cognitive impairment. Finasteride has ruined my brain, penis, life.
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • This drug has literally turned young virile men into impotent old men with fuzzy thinking and weakened immune system problems. The flagging libidos caused by propecia is just the tip of the iceburg. Merck should accept responsibility for the devastation that its product has inflicted on many of its unsuspecting users.
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • propecia is poison and must be recalled. the evidence is already there, even though the devil merck denies it. they will pay for what they have done and this will continue to be made public on even bigger stages in the near future. this drug must be recalled.
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • i'm a sufferer myself and I just started taking propecia a year ago. It has ruined my life, I lost my job because my brain is so out of whack, lost my fiance, with it I lost all my sexual function/desires and all of my will to live. I am a in a depression I never thought was possible, Thanks Merck for ruining peoples lives and not even having the dignity to help find a cure for the damage you have caused. Many of the side effects that have been reported are still not on the label, if this was one of the companies big shots sons or relatives the drug would be recalled immediately. But since it isn't, they show no remorse and will fight every lawsuit like they did nothing wrong. Again go to hell merck!
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • this honestly doesn't surprise me about merck. i have read multiple reports about them being corrupt and not caring about their own patients. reminds of the days of vioxx. hopefully that guy with the side effects will gain some exposure for the people that are suffering. i'm glad i never bought into this company. a health company that cares nothing about the people it sells to is disgusting. what other dirty tricks do you think they are doing behind the scenes? NO THANKS MERCK! dirt bags.
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • It's so sad that Merck has been hiding these terrible side effects from the public for years, all for the sake of bottom line profits. Scientists and other Merck employees should be ashamed of themselves. They knew this could happen and lied to the FDA to get it approved. They are the epitome of what's wrong with the US today. The US is a relatively young world power, considering we only became a country in 1776. And these are the type of companies/ people that are destroying us. Merck goto hell! There's a special place in hell for people like the employees at Merck that have been ruining peoples lives.
    Merck Logo
  • commented 2 years ago
  • tags: ABT PFE MRK
  • Merck is sick