Whether you are against politicians helping Pharma loot our health care dollars or mandatory medicine, Texas Governor Rick Perry's facilitation of Merck's Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, Gardasil, has angered Repubicans and Democrats alike.
Gardasil and GSK's Cervarix vaccine protect against the virus which causes cervical cancer and genital warts.
The vaccine protects against the two HPV strains that cause 70 percent of cervical cancers and 90 percent of genital warts but isn't effective against all HPV strains. Nor does it outperform the Pap smear or even make subsequent Pap smears unnecessary. Researchers also don't know how long protection lasts and when, or whether, a booster is necessary to retain protection.
The HPV vaccine is also the most expensive of all recommended vaccines at $359.25 for all three doses says Pew Research.
Despite poster-sized ads at city train stations and fancy TV commercials, many women are just saying no to the vaccines, according to research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research in Philadelphia.
Fewer than one-third of 9,658 teenagers and young women who were eligible for the vaccine actually began the three-injection series between 2006 and 2010, according to data analyzed at the University of Maryland. Others started the regimen but didn't get their second or third injection.
Merck is also using Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses to sell product. One, on Medscape, written by two Merck employees, was titled "Quadrivalent HPV Vaccine May Be Effective in Women 24 to 45-Years-Old," sounding like the commercial it was. Upon completion of this activity, you'll be able to "specify the currently recommended age range for the administration of the quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine," doctors who take the "course" are told. Who can say Dumbed Down?