From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This article needs to be updated

Gardasil is a vaccine developed by Merck, which states that it is a "vaccine that may help guard against diseases that are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) Types 6, 11, 16, and 18." [1]

Clinical Trials

On its website, Merck states that in the clinical trials, adverse experiences - including pain, swelling, erythema, fever, nausea, pruritus, and dizziness - were recorded at 1% and higher than for those on the placebo. [2]

"Pushing for Mandatory HPV Vaccination"

Merck & Co.'s Gardasil (web), a new vaccine which "guards against strains" of the human papillomavirus (HPV) that "cause most cases of cervical cancer", was approved in June 2006 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "An FDA advisory panel recommended that all girls get the vaccine at ages 11 or 12, before they are sexually active," the Associated Press reported January 31, 2007. "Currently, at least 18 states are debating whether to make the vaccine mandatory for schoolgirls."

Merck is "helping finance campaigns to get states to pass legislation that would make it mandatory for girls as young as 11 or 12 to receive" the vaccine and has "given money to Women in Government, an advocacy group that includes female state legislators throughout the United States. Many of the state bills advocating the use of Gardasil have been introduced by members of Women in Government, the AP reported.

"Some parents'-rights and conservative groups charge that Merck is engaging in underhanded lobbying ... [and] say making the vaccine mandatory would encourage premarital sex and interfere with how parents raise their children. "But Merck said it has been open about the fact that it provides funding to Women in Government," according to the AP.

In late February 2007, Merck announced that it would stop "lobbying state legislatures to require the use of its new cervical cancer vaccine." But some lobbying will continue, according to the medical affairs director of Merck's vaccine division, Dr. Richard M. Haupt. Merck will "continue to provide health officials and legislators with education about the vaccine and would continue to lobby for more financing for vaccines in general," he told the New York Times, adding: [3]

"Our goal is to prevent cervical cancer. Our goal is to reach as many females as possible. Right now, school requirements and Merck’s involvement in that are being viewed as a distraction to that goal."

HPV Legislation at the State Level

In early March 2007, Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine said "he would sign legislation requiring all sixth-grade girls to be vaccinated against the sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer," reported Associated Press. [4]

The previous month, Texas Governor Rick Perry had "issued an executive order that made Texas the first state to require girls entering the sixth grade to receive the HPV [human papilloma virus] vaccine, beginning in September 2008." [5]

Some questioned why Perry, a social conservative, would be so eager to mandate a new and controversial vaccine for a sexually-transmitted disease. "One of [Merck]’s three lobbyists in Texas is Mike Toomey, Perry’s former chief of staff," reported Associated Press. Perry "also received $6,000 from Merck’s political action committee during his re-election campaign." [6]

Contact Details

Other Websites

SourceWatch Resources

Gardasil Related Articles

Other Related Articles

External links

US Food and Drug Administration and other Agencies on Gardasil

Merck Product Information

Merck Media Releases

Discussion in Medical Journals

General Articles