The "Cheaters" Vaccine: HPV

In response to an article in the Lexington KY, Herald-Ledger, October 3, 2006
Is prevention worth a shot?A cervical-cancer vaccine leaves parents with tough decisions

"Dr. Albert "Ben" Jenson, a researcher of tumor immunobiology at theUniversity of Louisville James Graham Brown Cancer Center and part of theoriginal team of scientists at Georgetown University that invented the HPVvaccine and holds the patent on it: "I can't think of a reason not to (getthe vaccine). The adverse reactions are very small. It's the firstvaccination to prevent cancer. My three daughters -- ages 42, 40 and 38 --are going to get it. I think every woman should have it. Maybe they don'thave it (HPV) now, but they could get it if their partner, no matter howcommitted, has (pause) flaws and brings the virus into the relationship. Ithink men should have it too -- to protect women." - Herald Leader, Lexington, KY

Barbara Loe Fisher Commentary:

Merck's marketing strategy for HPV vaccine includes enlisting patent-holding scientists and paid Merck consultants to hype it as a lifestyle vaccine that should be pumped into the bodies of every pre-adolescent girl in the country. Just in case she forgets to wait until she gets married to have sex; or the guy she marries has had sex; or, apparently, just in case the guy she marries has sex with someone else while he is married to her. Can this marketing strategy get any more annoying?

And can these entrepreneuring vaccinologists twist themselves into a more convoluted pretzel with their junk science morality?

The truth is that most boys and girls and men and women who have had sex have been exposed to HPV and clear the virus naturally from their bodies and go on to lead perfectly normal, healthy lives. For the very tiny minority of women who, for unknown reasons, develop a persistent HPV infection, it can be identified through pap smears. Cervical cancer from HPV infection develops only after many years of unidentified, persistent HPV infection. Regular check-ups with pap smears are a much more cost-effective prevention than paying Merck and HPV vaccine patent holders $360 for 3 doses of HPV vaccine to inject into every American tweenager (Merck and the CDC are making noises that they want all pre-adolescent boys to get it too).

I can't wait to see the marketing strategy to sell the AIDS vaccine.



1 comment:

Susan said...

You know, the ethical questions people are bringing against this vaccine became moot for me on the day I actually read the fine print on the clinical trials and found that the "placebo" they used was ALUMINUM. Yes. The drug company seems to have had no trouble injecting little girls and young women with a solution containing the heavy metal most closely tied to Alzheimer's plaques and innocently exclaiming, "Look! The effect in our "placebo" patients was exactly the same!"
That this vaccine was approved for human use by the FDA is a travesty.