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Gardasil Update

Merck puts on the brakes:

Bowing to pressure from parents, physicians and consumer advocates, drug manufacturer Merck and Co. said Tuesday that it would suspend its campaign to implement mandatory vaccination against cervical cancer with the use of its drug, Gardasil.

The aggressive campaign undertaken by Merck was intended to hone in sales of the Gardasil -the vaccine received approval from the Food and Drug Administration last year and launched the drug in June.

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

He added, "We're concerned that our role in supporting school requirements is a distraction from that goal, and as such have suspended our lobbying efforts."

In a related story, the Washington Times questions whether the push for mandatory Gardasil vaccinations is targeting the wrong age group:

Lawmakers looking to force preteen girls to take Gardasil, a new vaccine against a virus that causes cervical cancer, are targeting the wrong age group, cancer data shows.

Middle-school girls inoculated with the breakthrough vaccine will be no older than 18 when they pass Gardasil's five-year window of proven effectiveness -- more than a decade before the typical cancer patient contracts the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV).

I received a fascinating email along similar lines a while ago but can't print it until I verify some of the specifics, which I hope to do in the very near future.