Monday, December 21, 2009
Last year I aired a radio commentary called “Caution Advised for Gardasil.” Gardasil’s manufacturer, Merck, had launched a big marketing campaign to sell this new vaccine, which was supposed to partially protect girls against Human Papilloma Virus, commonly known simply as HPV. That’s the virus that causes genital warts, a sexually transmitted disease, and can lead to cervical cancer in some women. Merck’s aggressive marketing of Gardasil produced a honeymoon with the media, and caused several states to pass laws to require or to pay for or to educate the public about the merits of the vaccine. Many states considered requiring the vaccine for girls to enter public school.
Now, more than a year later, the lead researcher in the development of Gardasil, Dr. Diane Harper, says the drug will do little to reduce cervical cancer rates and, even though Gardasil is being recommended for girls as young as 9 years old, there have been no efficacy trials in children under the age of 15.
Wow! She added, “The rate of serious adverse events is greater than the incidence rate of cervical cancer.”