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Gardasil - It's just not for girls anymore

A medical advisory panel for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted today that the use of Gardasil to prevent HPV, a sexually transmitted disease, in males ages nine to 26 would be both safe and effective.

The panel's decision could open up a large market for Gardasil maker, Merck, which has been approved to market the vaccine in the U.S. to females ages nine to 26 since 2006 and has distributed more than 50 million doses globally. A market analyst told Forbes, however, that sales of Gardasil to males will likely be remain below 20 percent of the vaccine's total. But even that nudge could bring in upward of an additional $300 million a year, said Seamus Fernandez, an analyst at health care investment company Leerink Swan.

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