Big Pharma Won’t Let Your Doctor Forget Your Next Shot

Rachel Feltman | Quartz | May 3, 2014

The pharmaceutical company Merck wants to make sure you get your recommended vaccinations on time, and not just for your own good. The company’s partnership with Practice Fusion, the largest online platform for electronic medical record management in the US, will provide physicians with reminders when their patients are due for a vaccination by the Centers for Disease Control’s standards. It’s a smart move by Merck, given that some of the company’s only growth is in vaccines.

Like other pharmaceutical companies, Merck certainly appears to be moving towards specialization: Bloomberg recently reported that Merck is in talks to sell its over-the-counter division to Bayer for $14 billion, which would allow Merck to focus on developing and selling its core medications.

Merck needs that boost: Sales of the company’s pharmaceutical unit fell 8% in 2013. Meanwhile, sales of its two star vaccines—Gardasil, which prevents the cervical-cancer-causing HPV, and Zostavax, which prevents shingles—rose by 12% and 16%, respectively...