Truth About Gardasil recently had the opportunity to discuss Gardasil®, the HPV vaccine manufactured by Merck Pharmaceuticals, with one of its lead developers, Dr. Diane Harper. In this first installment of our interview, Dr.Harper sets the record straight on several questions surrounding this supposed “miracle vaccine.”
Harper, a Medical Doctor who is internationally known as a clinician and researcher, also earned a Master’s Degree in Public Health (MPH). She is probably most well known for her role in the development of Gardasil® and in the readying of this vaccine for its public release. She helped in every phase from recruiting trial participants to providing medical care during the trial to collecting specimens and interpretation of the final data.
There has been much controversy and debate about Gardasil® from its very beginning. Questions have been raised not only about its safety, but also the advertisements and marketing plan by Merck. Gardasil® started out being marketed to young women ages 9 to 26, as cervical cancer prevention in the “One Less” campaign. According to neontommy.com, Merck won awards for this by “creating a market out of thin air.” Since then, the FDA has granted approval to not only market it to boys of the same age range, but has given permission to add anal cancer to the list of diseases that Gardasil® can prevent. See Gardasil’s Marketing Raises Ethical Issues
Harper says, “It has been a plan for Merck from the beginning.” When we asked her about this she stated, “Unfortunately, the FDA has given Merck a blanket approval to use Gardasil® in males and females 9-26 years old without making it clear to parents or males/females that the only data for male cancer preventions is in MSM (gay men) NOT in heterosexual men.” She goes on to say, “For men who have sex with men, there is a benefit to using Gardasil in the prevention of anal intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 and 3. However, in the case of heterosexual men, this was never tested, and there is no penile cancer prevention seen in heterosexual men.”