October 8, 2009
By Julie Steenhuysen
Assuming all girls get the shot, adding boys to a national vaccination program may not be worth the expense, they said.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is weighing whether to approve Gardasil — Merck & Co’s vaccine against human papillomavirus — for use in boys and men ages 9 to 26 to protect them from genital warts and prevent them from spreading the virus to their sexual partners.
“What our results imply is for the resources expended, there may be better uses and other health interventions that would increase health gains in the population,” Jane Kim of the Harvard School of Public Health, whose study appears in the British Medical Journal, said in a telephone interview.
Gardasil is approved for use in girls and young women to protect against certain strains of the virus.
And the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the shot for 11- and 12-year-old girls and for women 13 to 26 who have not been vaccinated.
The vaccine had global sales of $1.4 billion in 2008, with an additional $865 million received through a joint venture with Sanofi-Aventis.
But growth has slowed recently in markets where the initial group of eligible teenage girls has now been immunized.
The company is now seeking approval for use in boys and men. In clinical trials, the vaccine has been shown to offer a high degree of protection, Kim said.
“Even though it might be beneficial, whether or not the benefits are worth the investment is what we sought to evaluate,” she said.
Comment from Leslie
This is no surprise to anyone…and has made the news before….Many reasons why boys will not get vaccine – even tho approved….Big Pharma is aware that the test showed that boys had more adverse reactions than girls (due to testosterone which attracts heavy metals) and then the whole social stigma thing….boys are not going to line up for this vaccine…..