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Hey there all!!

Well I noticed that this had not been diaried yet and felt there should be some follow up on this.


Here's the linky

Merck & Co., bowing to pressure from parents and medical groups, is immediately suspending its lobbying campaign to persuade state legislatures to mandate that adolescent girls get the company's new vaccine against cervical cancer as a requirement for school attendance

So Merck realized that it lobbying states to make this mandatory was a bad idea. Well good. I wonder how much money they have made so far pushing this...well let's see.

Whitehouse Station-based Merck launched Gardasil, the first vaccine to prevent cervical cancer, in June. It protects against the two virus strains that cause 70 percent of cervical cancer and two strains that cause most genital warts.

Sales totaled $235 million through the end of 2006, according to Merck.

Wow, $235 million in 9 months, not bad. Remember though that Texas still has their law about having girls in 6th grade as of 2008 be vaccinated (yes there is an opt out clause).

So I wonder if Merck backed off because the controversy was hurting the sales.

Of course they say:

"Our goal is about cervical cancer prevention and we want to reach as many females as possible with Gardasil," Dr. Richard M. Haupt, Merck's medical director for vaccines, told The Associated Press.

"We're concerned that our role in supporting school requirements is a distraction from that goal, and as such have suspended our lobbying efforts," Haupt said, adding the company will continue providing information about the vaccine if requested by government officials

Merck, If it was education you wanted to offer women you could have run commercials, offered parents information through schools and such instead of trying to get legislatures to make it mandatory. Just a thought.

Originally posted to Chaoslillith on Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 08:12 PM PST.


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Comment Preferences

  •  If I had a daughter, I'd insist on vaccination. (7+ / 0-)
  •  If I had a daughter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I would wait another year to see if this vaccine goes the way of Vioxx and if not I would get her vaccinated. I still do not think Merck should have been lobbying the government on it.

    •  I know nothing of vioxx (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but have heard about the mandatory vaccine the military pushed on soldiers headed to Iraq in the gulf war
      Something they are pushing again btw
      Without proper testing
      and too much lobbying
      I am against mandatory vaccines

      Poverty and the homeless Out of sight and out of mind

      by betterdeadthanred on Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 08:28:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A complicated and emotional subject (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuco35, Chaoslillith, suicide blonde

    Last Saturday, this diary by Ira Krakow generated a lot of emotion to the point of hostility and troll-rating.  I felt he presented his point of view in a reasonable, well-researched way, but others felt he was attacking something which could save many women.

    Overall, I think the vaccine is a good thing.  If I had a young daughter, I'd likely have her get the vaccine, even though I do have a general vague antipathy towards a lot of corporatized medicine.

    But as to the specific topic of this diary, I'm glad Merck has been stopped from trying to cash in by cornering the market through legislation (which may very well have inhibited research into even more effective vaccines.)

  •  TV time needs to be spent on important issues (5+ / 0-)

    like 4 hour erections and hair loss.

    People with medical problems will find you, after all. Or not. Whatever, sick people are a pain in the ass, and half the time don't have the money for medicine anyway, and then act like you owed them a cure. Ingrates.

    Whereas a guy who just had a 4 hour erection is a customer for life!

    <I'm still looking for a job, Merck! You and me baby, all the way!>

  •  Chaoslillith, did you see this diary, (7+ / 0-)

    "If You're Having Sex, You Deserve to Die"? Good discussion, especially stitchmd's comments. See also "An HPV Primer." I suggest these as background, in case readers missed these diaries.

    Forbes characterizes the decision as "bowing to pressure from parents and medical groups," and notes that the AAP and AAFP expressed "concerns" over the timing re "government funding for the vaccine." It seems that the driving force here (as far as Forbes goes) is the National Vaccine Information Center, which  "has been publicizing reports of side effects - mostly dizziness and fainting - in several dozen people getting Gardasil, which is approved for use in females ages 9 to 26. The center, a group of parents worried that vaccines harm some children, questions whether the vaccine was tested in enough young girls." (My bold.)

    Who are these people? Where does their clout come from? (I scanned the wikipedia article, but would like some more objective view of this organization.) Have they had other successes in their anti-vaccination efforts?

    •  I had seen those diaries (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I think I commented in the "Deserve to Die One".

      I think it is good that Merck is backing off for whatever reason on lobbying the government. That should not be their place as a business.

      I think the NVIC is a good group but do not know for sure.

    •  NVIC=witchcraft (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ortcutt, monkeybiz, norahc, 0wn, suicide blonde

      The National Vaccine Information Center is a virulently anti-vaccine organization making outlandish and utterly unsubstantiated claims leavened with an occasional small pinch of fact. They are part of an apparently sincere but lethally misguided Luddite network attempting to discredit vaccines in general. Many members are quite sincere in their belief that vaccines have injured their children; just google autism + vaccines and watch the wave of rage and venom spill forth.
      Sincerity and rage however are not science. This organization is not a member of the "reality based community".

  •  I'd support vaccinations (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    norahc, suicide blonde

    From the Florida Ob/Gyn society:

    Approximately 20 million Americans are currently infected with HPV. At least 50 percent of sexually active men and women acquire genital HPV infection at some point in their lives. By age 50, at least 80 percent of women will have acquired genital HPV infection. About 6.2 million Americans get a new genital HPV infection each year and this year genital warts will result in 357,000 new office visits.

    Seems like the kind of virus we should try to eradicate if we can.

    Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

    by The Raven on Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 08:59:48 PM PST

    •  That's Fine... (0+ / 0-)

      ...but what raises my antennas, being a Texan, is how Merck is marketing this drug. Lobby, cash, $$$, kaching, aimed at our elected officials. This discredits Merck's claims on the efficacy of the vaccine -- which might be the tragedy here.

      But it doesn't surprise me that our governor is carrying water for Merck.

      "One thing we want during this war of terror is for people to feel like their life moving on." George W. Bush, 1/07

      by chuco35 on Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 10:46:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well (0+ / 0-)

        A lot of it is because somebody (Bristol-Myers-Squibb, I think, but I'm not sure) is going to have a competing drug on the market by the end of the year, apparently.

        So, yeah, this isn't about Merck being altruistic, it's about trying to beat the competition to the punch. If Gardasil, specifically, is mandated, that leaves BMS out in the cold.

        In other words, while I agree vehemently with the HPV vaccine in and of itself, and was just talking to my pediatrician about getting it for my 11-year-old daughter...Merck's marketing campaign to get it mandated still sucks.

        "I'm not a musician. I'm a rock and roll guitar player."--Little Steven Van Zandt

        by ChurchofBruce on Wed Feb 21, 2007 at 05:39:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm sure that all the women with cancer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    will be less than pleased in 30 years

    Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. - Sam J. Ervin, Jr.

    by tiponeill on Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 09:14:34 PM PST

    •  It's not off the market (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Free Spirit

      sheesh. Merck is just not going to lobby the government directly (as far as we know) about it.

      I would like them to instead remove some of the commercials for the drugs that improve male sexual performance and put a commercial about this vaccine on TV. That is a more proper thing for a business to do instead of lobbying a government body to shove it down our throats. If a man can choose which male enhancement product he wants to use intelligently why are women not given the same respect but are being told from a higher governing body that they must have this.

      Just a random thought.

      I am not against the vaccine and if it prevents cancer without causing serious problems in a few years I will be thrilled. Merck's strongarm tactics do not sit well with me, that's all.

      The vaccine is a product and should be marketed to the public for them to choose.

      •  Um...the commercials for Gardasil /are/ on TV... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        as a matter of fact, Kaki King (guitarist extraordinaire) is in one of them.

        "No...we didn't know to use it / so we lost the right to choose it / when we took it and abused it / now, continuous hit music..." -The American Analog Set

        by Diaries on Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 09:25:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Rationale for mandatory vaccine (0+ / 0-)

        The rationale for requiring vaccination for any contagious disease is that no vaccine is 100% effective. Therefore, even if you choose vaccination, you may still be at risk of contracting the disease. And the more people there are in the population who are unvaccinated, the more prevalent the disease will be, and the greater your risk.

        In this case, I see little justification for mandatory vaccination.

        The Senate is the last bastion of white supremacy. --Andrew Gumbel

        by Free Spirit on Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 09:31:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Vaccines are compulsory for good reason (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chuco35, norahc, suicide blonde, Diaries

        Vaccines become vastly more effective when a very large proportion of the population has been immunized, thereby interrupting the chain of transmission. This is simply because the next potential victim encountering an infectious person is likely to be immune. This is known as herd immunity.
        If you let individuals choose whether or not to have their children immunized, many will (illogically) choose to forego the lifesaving benefits of immunization to prevent the remote possibility of vaccine side-effects. Soon the proportion of the population still susceptible to disease exceeds a critical threshhold and an epidemic breaks out. This is not a theoretical concern; it has occured repeatedly. In England pertussis immunization was made elective due to concerns about febrile vaccine reactions. The result was a rapid rise in pertussis cases with many deaths. In Russia public health and immunization rates disintegrated with the collapse of the Soviet Union, resulting in a lethal epidemic of diphtheria.

      •  It would also be nice (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kdub, Chaoslillith

        if insurance companies would quit paying for male "enhancement" drugs and pay instead for HPV vaccine and birth control, which are real health issues.

        "Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes." Maggie Kuhn -6.75/-7.54

        by crose on Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 11:16:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  From the public health perspective (4+ / 0-)

        Making the vaccine mandatory (sort of, allow an opt out for those who want to fill out the paperwork) would help prevent a significant cause of cancer.  Medical costs would decrease because the vaccine is cheaper than the cancer costs to society.  
        On another note the global deaths from smallpox was 0 last year.  Medical progress can and does save lives, the money invested in wiping out smalpox is still paying dividens today.

    trying to thing of something new - watch here for results

    by norahc on Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 09:16:58 PM PST

  •  And this is good why exactly? (n/t) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    norahc, 0wn

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