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January 29, 2007

Merck Pushing Gardasil Legislation

Just who is behind the massive push in over a dozen states to make Gardasil mandatory for all 6th grade girls? For a vaccine that was only approved in June, it seems as if this sudden blitz of legislature is a bit premature.

Merck & Co, makers of Gardasil, appear to be the ones spearheading this legislative drive. The company stands to make $1 billion off the drug in 2008.

Merck, which has been arming its lobbyists across the country with information on the vaccine, has been getting an assist from Women in Government, a nonpartisan organization of female legislators whose agenda includes cervical cancer prevention. The group, like breast-cancer activists before it, works through political channels. It also takes corporate donations from Merck.

There are doctors who are warning caution, however:

... some medical experts say lawmakers are moving too fast in their efforts to vaccinate all school-age girls. The American Academy of Pediatrics, for instance, is urging a go-slow approach, with an initial focus on raising public awareness of HPV and more monitoring of the safety of the vaccine ...

Drug firm pushes vaccine mandate

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