Merck, Schering-Plough report strong second-quarter sales

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Merck and Schering-Plough each reported strong second-quarter sales results today.

Merck's second-quarter highlights included:
*Growth in global sales for asthma and allergic rhinitis treatment Singulair by 15% to $1.1 billion. 
*Global sales growth of antihypertensive medicines Cozaar and Hyzaar of 8% to $847 million.
*Global sales of $358 million for cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil.
*Global sales of $144 million for Januvia, Merck's first-in-class treatment for Type 2 diabetes.

Meanwhile, Schering-Plough's second-quarter sales increased by 13%, to almost $3.2 billion, as the company continues to benefit from a leadership turnaround under Fred Hassan.

Schering-Plough's second-quarter highlights included:
*A global sales increase for arthritis drug Remicade of 28% to $394 million.
*A global sales increase for allergy treatment Nasonex of 22% to $295 million.
*A global sales increase for seasonal allergic rhinitis drug Clarinex to $250 million from $226 million.
*International sales growth for Temodar, a treatment for certain types of brain tumors of 26% to $216 million.
*An increase in sales of Pegintron for hepatitis C of 3% to $234 million, due to higher sales in Latin America and Europe, and tempered by lower sales in the United States and Japan.

Merck and Schering-Plough's quarterly performance was helped by the joint venture between the companies to market cholesterol drugs Vytorin and Zetia. Sales of the drugs rose $1.3 billion in the quarter, up 30% from a year earlier.

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