21 February 2007 at 10:29:46 AM
Heh. Despite all the money they are giving to legislators, I suppose they couldn't have guessed all the negative publicity that would arise from Pinhead-The-Emperor-Perry mandating the HPV vaccination on 12 year old girls as part of the requirement just to attend school. Makes them all look like a bunch of greasy, fat-cat Big Pharm companies.. and that must not have set too well.
The pharmaceutical giant whose vaccine to prevent the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer unleashed controversy in Texas announced Tuesday that it is ending its nationwide lobbying effort to have states mandate that girls be given the serum before entering the sixth grade...
But two of the lawmakers leading the effort to reverse Perry's order said Merck's action underscores concerns that policymakers need more time to decide whether the vaccine should be required for sixth-graders.
"Merck had clearly acknowledged that they made a corporate marketing decision to have this vaccine mandated by the states," said Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, the primary author of a bill to reverse Perry's order. "Now it's clear that they are admitting that that was a stupid decision."
An executive for Merck, the sole maker of the vaccine marketed as Gardasil, told The Associated Press that controversies like the one raging in the Texas Legislature had moved the spotlight away from the company's goal of protecting women from a potentially fatal disease.
"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 AP. "We're concerned that our role in supporting school requirements is a distraction from that goal and as such have suspended our lobbying efforts."
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