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Merck's new CEO Vows tough innovation spending, faster drug decisions. Merck & Co.'s.

Merck's New CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board.  Vows Tough Innovation Spending, Faster Drug Decisions. Merck & Co.'s (Whitehouse Station NJ) Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Frazier, who took over the top leadership role on Jan. 1, said the company will make "tough" research spending decisions while developing innovative products. Merck, the second-biggest U.S. drugmaker, will halt development of less promising drugs more quickly, Frazier said last week at a Goldman Sachs The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., or simply Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) is one of the world's largest global investment banks. Goldman Sachs was founded in 1869, and is headquartered in the Lower Manhattan area of New York City at 85 Broad Street.  Group Inc. (New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
) investor conference. Merck is changing compensation to scientists to prevent expensive late-stage development of weak commercial prospects, he said. Merck is developing new drugs to replace revenue as it faces generic competition that began last year to blood-pressure pills, Cozaar and Hyzaar, with combined 2009 sales of $3.6 billion. The company is awaiting final-stage test results for experimental medicines to prevent blood clots, increase beneficial forms of cholesterol and treat migraine headaches. "The only way you can sustain a business like this is through innovation; that doesn't mean you can just throw money at things," Frazier said. "Historically, our successes haven't required us to think as tough about resource allocation resource allocation Managed care The constellation of activities and decisions which form the basis for prioritizing health care needs ." Merck hosts regular symposia where its finance experts teach scientists how to seek better return on invested capital, Frazier said. The three-year return is now tied to researchers' compensation, he said.

Pharmaceutical companies face increasingly difficult standards for U.S. approvals for novel drugs. Last year was the first time in a decade that Pfizer Inc. (New York), the world's largest drugmaker, as well as Merck, Eli Lilly & Co. (Indianapolis IN) and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (New York), each failed to win regulatory backing for a new molecular compound. Merck secured approval for its Dulera asthma inhaler, which combines two previously approved treatments, and won the right to market drugs for wider indications, said Steve Campanini, a spokesman for Merck. The company said last week that it received an accelerated six-month review for its experimental hepatitis C Hepatitis C Definition

Hepatitis C is a form of liver inflammation that causes primarily a long-lasting (chronic) disease. Acute (newly developed) hepatitis C is rarely observed as the early disease is generally quite mild.
 treatment. Merck shares closed the week up $1.31, or 4%, at $37.35. The stock has declined 1.6% in the past 12 months.
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Title Annotation:CORPORATE
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Jan 10, 2011
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