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Merck backs off national push for mandatory HPV vaccinations

Thursday, February 22, 2007 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: vaccinations, Merck, vaccines

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(NewsTarget) Pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co., Inc. announced this week that it will no longer lobby state governments for mandatory vaccination of school-age girls against human papillomavirus (HPV) strains that cause cervical cancer. Previously, Merck had been lobbying legislators to require the administration of its three-stage vaccine Gardasil, which received FDA approval in June.

Jump directly to: conventional view | alternative view | resources | bottom line

What you need to know - Conventional View

• Gardasil claims to protect against strains of HPV believed to cause most cases of cervical cancer, an estimated 7,000 per year. It costs $360 for a series of three shots.

• Texas recently became the first state to require vaccination of school-age girls with Gardasil, but other states are debating similar requirements. Mandatory vaccination bills have passed in both the Virginia House and Senate, but the governor has not yet indicated if he will approve such a law.

• Merck spokespeople said the company will no longer lobby for such laws due to the controversy sparked by such behavior. Critics have charged that the company was motivated more by profit than by health concerns. Merck was shown to have financial ties to a former top official in Texas Governor Rick Perry's administration. Governor Perry issued an executive order to require mandatory vaccinations with Merck's product, bypassing the Texas state legislature. This connection was explored in a CounterThink cartoon fictionally depicting Texas Governor Perry accepting a bribe from Merck, created by Mike Adams.

• The American Cancer Society and American Academy of Pediatrics have recommended that girls be vaccinated with Gardasil. They have declined to endorse mandatory vaccination, in part because of the newness of the drug. Both associations maintain strong financial ties to pharmaceutical companies.

What you need to know - Alternative View

Statements and opinions by Mike Adams

• This decision by Merck to back off its lobbying efforts over the HPV vaccination represent a small victory for health freedom advocates. It shows the power of independent media and passionate individuals to overcome corruption and medical tyranny in the United States.

• Although Merck has announced it will stop publicly lobbying states to pass mandatory vaccine measures, it is my experience that drug companies continue to operate under the table, away from public view, to accomplish their profit goals. I do not believe Merck will abandon this profit opportunity, even though they may seek to create the public impression that they are walking away from it.

• Our CounterThink cartoon on this topic was our most popular cartoon ever published, and has been widely circulated across the 'net. It exposed the financial corruption and exploitation of young girls by drug companies seeking profits. Click here to see the cartoon.

Resources you need to know

• NewsTarget feature story: Medical tyranny in Texas turns teenage girls into HPV vaccination profit centers.

Bottom line

• Merck claims it will no longer engage in lobbying for mandatory HPV vaccination.


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