Notícia do The Wall Street Journal (abaixo) revela a ação da empresa Merck (no Brasil, Merck Sharp & Dhome) em forçar que os Estados americanos tornassem o Gardasil, vacina para o HPV, fator de risco para o câncer de colo uterino, obrigatório para adolescentes. A reação dos pais e educadores foi grande o suficiente para que a empresa suspendesse o lobby nos Estados.
Aqui, haverá uma reportagem de capa em um das semanais, uma reportagem de duas páginas em um dos três grandes jornais e, um hospital jetset irá abrir uma clínica de HPV. Aguardem.
Já foi dito aqui que a vacina será disponível em Brasília, mas não em Brasília Teimosa em Recife.
Merck Suspends Campaign to MakeGardasil Vaccination Mandatory By JOHN CARREYROU and SARAH RUBENSTEINFebruary 20, 2007 6:39 p.m. Merck & Co. said it would stop lobbying states to pass laws requiring that preteen girls be vaccinated against cervical cancer in the face of a growing backlash among parents, physicians and consumer advocates. Merck's aggressive lobbying campaign was intended to boost sales of its Gardasil vaccine, which received Food and Drug Administration approval last year. Gardasil provides protection against two strains of the human papillomavirus that are thought to cause the majority of cervical-cancer cases. But unlike a number of other diseases that U.S. schoolchildren are required to be vaccinated against, HPV isn't an airborne virus that can spread easily in a group setting. Rather, it is sexually transmitted. Gardasil also stands apart from other vaccines that are compulsory because of its high cost: $360 for a three-dose regimen. In recent weeks, opposition to state mandates has grown among parents who want the freedom to make such a medical decision on their own and are worried about exposing their children to the unforeseen side effects of a new vaccine. Physicians and consumer advocates have also questioned the need to immunize young girls against a disease that is no longer very prevalent in the U.S. and doesn't develop until much later in life. Merck's lobbying efforts have become a distraction from the company's goal of immunizing as many women as possible against cervical cancer, said Richard Haupt, Merck's executive director of medical affairs. Merck has "decided at this point not to lobby for school laws any further." More than 20 states have drafted bills that would make vaccination of pre-teen girls against HPV compulsory. Earlier this month, Texas Gov. Rick Perry issued an executive order mandating that the vaccine be administered to all girls entering the 6th grade in the state as of September 2008. One of Merck's lobbyists in Texas is Gov. Perry's former chief of staff, and Merck's political action committee contributed $6,000 to the governor's re-election campaign. Merck has also been funding Women In Government, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group made up of female state lawmakers. An executive from Merck's vaccine division, Deborah Alfano, sat on Women In Government's business council last year, and a number of the bills across the country have been introduced by members of the group. A spokesman for Merck, Ray Kerins, declined to say how much money the company had spent on the lobbying campaign. Merck is eager to build Gardasil's sales quickly to offset patent expirations on some of its bestselling drugs and its mounting legal costs over its withdrawn painkiller Vioxx. "It's a good decision because I think it's true that the discussion about mandates was a distraction -- it is a distraction," said Joseph Bocchini, chairman of the committee on infectious diseases of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Bocchini said he was concerned that parents would decide against vaccinating their children because of the controversy when they might have otherwise opted to do so. Merck recently asked Dr. Bocchini about his opinion on the controversy, he added. Dr. Bocchini noted that state mandates are usually passed to control the spread of a highly infectious disease like chicken pox. The focus with Gardasil at this point should be on educating patients about the vaccine and cervical cancer, and making sure that patients can afford the vaccine, he said. Merck's marketing campaign for Gardasil has emphasized that cervical cancer is the second-leading cancer among women around the world. But screening with Pap smears has dramatically reduced the disease's incidence in the U.S. The American Cancer Society estimates that 3,670 American women will die from cervical cancer this year, the equivalent of 0.65% of U.S. cancer deaths. Cervical cancer is a much bigger problem in the developing world. Moreover, inoculation with Gardasil won't obviate the need for regular Pap tests because some 30% of cervical cancers are thought to be caused by other HPV strains not covered by the vaccine.