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Pillbox Biography: The Creation Of A Blockbuster Drug

The Creation Of A Blockbuster Drug

With millions of women affected by osteoporosis, Merck knew it had a potential blockbuster drug when it developed Fosamax. The problem: A lack of bone density scanners and high costs meant not many women were getting diagnosed. Merck worked hard to make bone scan machines cheaper and more prevalent — and was wildly successful. By 2005, Fosamax sales peaked at almost $3.2 billion worldwide. Medicare claims for bone screening exams continued to increase, reaching 2.8 million in 2007. The drug went off patent in 2008. Currently, Congress is considering reducing Medicare payments for many types of scans.

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