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Missouri, Minnesota Senates Push Gardasil Education

Posted by Jane Akre
Friday, March 07, 2008 11:57 AM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: FDA and Prescription Drugs, Cervical Cancer, Gardasil, Wrongful Death, Defective and Dangerous Drugs

Missouri and Minnesota both have Senate bills that encourage mandatory Cervical cancer information begiven to all 6th grade girls including information on Gardasil.

LEARN MORE

  • Injuryboard on Gardasil here
  • Injuryboard on Cervical Cancer here
  • Judicial Watch here 
  • Women in Government here  

The Missouri State Senate on Thursday passed a bill mandating that all sixth-graders receive information about humanpapilloma virus (HPV) and the vaccine Gardasil, the only cervical cancer vaccine at this time.

For those girls who cannot afford $360 for a series of three-shots, the bill would also cover the cost for some.   

Parents will still have the final word whether their daughters will be given Gardasil.  That is not the case in Texas where beginning this fall, the shot will be mandated for young teen and pre-teen girls entering public school.  

Gardasil, made by Merck & Co. has adverting aggressively with its ‘Not One More” ad campaign and lobbied state legislatures with the help of Women In Government, a non-profit made up of female legislators which is partially supported by Merck and other drug companies.   

The bill’s sponsor Sen. Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City told St. Louis Today, "This is the second-biggest killer of women as far as cancer is concerned."

Justus says she crafted the bill with the help of the Missouri Catholic Conference and the Missouri Family Network. 

On Wednesday, a similar bill passed through a Senate committee in Minnesota.

HPV is a sexually transmitted disease and has no symptoms. About 3,800 women die from it every year according to the American Cancer Society.

Missouri becomes the 17th state to recently pass measures that encourage the use of Gardasil either requiring the shots be given, fund them or educate the public about cervical cancer and the vaccine.  

The jury is still out on the safety and efficacy of the drug.

The Washington D.C. based group, Judicial Watch has filed several Freedom of Information requests to the FDA and uncovered 3,461 adverse reports including 11 deaths.

There have been reports worldwide of young girls fainting and paralysis in the two years since it received FDA approval.  Five years on the market is a general guideline suggested by doctors before you begin a new drug regimen.  

Others think that promoting Gardasil also promotes sexual activity.  

It is recommended Gardasil be given before a teen becomes sexually active, but if a girl doesn’t become sexually active for five years, doctors cannot tell you if she remains protected without a booster shot.

Gardasil also protects against a few types of HPV, there are more than 70 strains.

Rep. Bob Onder, R-Lake St. Louis, says he does not plan to vote for the bill.

Onder, a doctor tells St. Louis Today, "I don't think it's a terribly good vaccine”. 

Onder says its long-term effects are unproven,  no one knows how long the immunity lasts and it only protects against a limited number of HPV strains.  And he’s not comfortable about the state getting involved in personal medical decisions that happen to benefit a drug manufacturer.

"It has the state saying, 'Ask your doctor about the purple pill,'" he said. "Which is really a very unorthodox approach."

The Missouri Senate bill now goes to the House where last year a similar measure failed to pass. #

 

 


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