Drug Company Marketing Leads to HPV Vaccine Rise

HPV, HPV vaccine, vaccine, gardasil, cervical cancer, Merck, advertising, marketing, pharmaceuticals, deceptionTens of millions of girls and young women have been vaccinated against human pappilomavirus (HPV) in the United States and Europe in the two years since two vaccines were given government approval in many countries. One of the vaccines, Merck’s Gardasil, has been made available to the poorest girls in the country, up to age 18, at a potential cost to the United States government of more than $1 billion, and proposals to mandate the vaccine for girls in middle schools have been offered in 24 states.

The lightning-fast transition from newly minted vaccine to must-have injection represents a triumph of what the manufacturers call education -- but their critics are calling it a triumph of marketing.

Award-winning advertising has promoted the vaccines, including ads that ran before the film “Sex and the City,” on YouTube, and during popular shows like “Law and Order.” The vaccine makers have also provided money for activities by patients’ and women’s groups, doctors and medical experts, lobbyists and political organizations interested in the disease, sometimes in ways that skirt disclosure requirements or obscure the companies’ involvement.

Some experts are worrying about the consequences of the rapid rollout of the new vaccines without more medical evidence. Because of the aggressive marketing, even parents of girls who are far from being sexually active may feel pressured into giving them a vaccine that is not yet needed and whose long-term impact is still unclear.

In the United States, hundreds of doctors have been recruited and trained to give talks about Gardasil, at $4,500 for a lecture. Some have made hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

There is no doubt that many well-intentioned parents out there are being deceived , or at the least seriously misled -- by Merck, Gardasil’s maker, the media, public health officials, and perhaps their own physicians -- into believing that Gardasil is beneficial for their daughters.

But what they don’t tell you is that Gardasil has caused thousands of serious reactions, including many sudden deaths within 7 days of inoculation.  Even one of our blog readers had a daughter that died from this immunization.

Fear Mongering 101: Aggressive Advertising

Aggressive pharmaceutical advertising is nothing new, but the Gardasil anti-cervical cancer campaign has swept across the West like a revolution.

It’s also one of the most successful examples of baseless fear mongering I can think of.

While cervical cancer is touted as the second-leading cause of cancer death in women, with 500,000 new cases worldwide each year, the marketing campaign fails to inform you of the entire truth. What they fail to mention is that nearly 95 percent of those deaths occur in developing countries, which cannot afford to administer the HPV vaccine anyway.

We already know that where there are Pap smear programs, very few women die of cervical cancer because regular Pap smears can detect precancerous cells early enough for effective treatment.

In the U.K., for example, cervical cancer claims a mere 400 lives per year, and in the U.S. it is responsible for about 3,800 deaths yearly – most of which are due to not getting regular Pap smears.

Does that truly constitute a public health emergency of such magnitude that it requires mandatory vaccination of all girls aged 11-26?

And, since the HPV vaccine does not prevent ALL types of HPV, you must continue getting regular Pap smears anyway, or risk ending up with undiagnosed and therefore potentially deadly cervical cancer, which makes you wonder why you’d really need the vaccine in the first place.

This vaccine campaign is so high on hyped-up fear and so deficient in logic, it boggles the mind.

Like Dr. Diane Harper, professor of medicine at Dartmouth Medical School, stated:

“Merck lobbied every opinion leader, women’s group, medical society, politicians, and went directly to the people — it created a sense of panic that says you have to have this vaccine now.”

The Truth is, Your Daughters Should Be Warned About this Vaccine!  

A healthy, robust immune system to help clear up HPV on its own, which it does in 90 percent of all cases.

Is the HPV Vaccine Worth the Risk?

Researchers are finally raising serious questions as to whether the HPV vaccine is really worth the risks involved. An editorial in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) outlines the rising concerns.

First, Gardasil's long-term effectiveness is unclear. And because cervical cancer takes years to develop, critics say the current information is insufficient to determine whether Gardasil works. Then there’s the issue of side effects. FDA records reveal that, since Gardasil's approval, nearly 9,000 girls had adverse side effects after receiving their shots.

If you’ve been a regular reader of my newsletter, you’ll have noticed that each time I cover another article on HPV, the body count for adverse side effects from this vaccine has risen by several hundred or more…  For example, on June 24th, I reported there were more than 6,700 adverse effects reported. Two months later, almost to the day, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons state 8,864 reports have been filed.

Folks, this is a major CLUE!

Along with NEJM, the organization Judicial Watch has also published a damaging Special Report about the Gardasil vaccine. Based on records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), they summarized the approval process, side effects, safety concerns, and marketing practices related to the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, calling it a “large-scale public health experiment.”

One of their most startling findings was the incidence of 78 cases of outbreaks of warts following the vaccination in women already infected without knowing it. In addition to genital warts, some women experienced large outbreaks on their face, hands, or feet.

Additionally, Gardasil was found to have an efficacy rate of –44.6% (that’s a minus sign) in women already exposed to the HPV types included in the vaccine!

Judicial Watch also uncovered that Gardasil was tested against an aluminum-containing placebo, rather than a nonreactive saline base, which can make the vaccine appear safer than it actually is – which appears to be the case, if you ask me.

The Insanity Continues 

Despite all the risks uncovered and the skyrocketing incident reports of harm, vaccine proponents want to move on to the next frontier: older women, and young boys

Dr. Raffle, a British cervical cancer specialist said it best: “Oh, dear. If we give it to boys, then all pretense of scientific worth and cost analysis goes out the window.”  

I believe the mere suggestion already goes to show that this vaccine is nothing more than a cash-cow, offering little proof of any benefits whatsoever, especially considering how easily cervical cancer can be prevented without it. 

Virginia Residents – Know Your Rights in 2009! 

Although some 24 U.S. states are deliberating mandatory inoculation with Gardasil for school-aged children, Virginia is the only state to pass a bill requiring the vaccine for middle-school entry, which will take effect in 2009.

Fortunately, according to a spokeswoman for the governor, the state’s vaccination program has included unusually broad freedom to decline the shot. Normally, in order to exempt your child from a vaccine, you’d have to provide a medical reason. But for Gardasil, no medical reason is required; you only need to sign the appropriate opt-out form.

Remember that keeping your immune system in tip-top shape will help you shake any HPV virus you may have contracted, without the use of drugs.

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