In the following video, Motley Fool health-care analyst David Williamson highlights a potential new threat to an entire class of multibillion-dollar drugs. The drug group, which treats type 2 diabetes, could be linked to pancreatitis, a very serious inflammation of the pancreas that can lead to pancreatic cancer. David tells investors how several companies, such as Merck (NYSE: MRK ) , Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY ) and AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN ) could be affected if the link is confirmed, and how serious the damage could be financially.
Can Merck beat the patent cliff?
This titan of the pharmaceutical industry stumbled into 2013 and continues to battle patent expirations and pipeline problems. Is Merck still a solid dividend play, or should investors be looking elsewhere? In a new premium research report on Merck, the Fool tackles all of the company's moving parts, its major market opportunities, and reasons to both buy and sell. To find out more click here to claim your copy today.