Friday, February 02, 2007

gardicil your children?

big pharma is coming for your children.

and if they can't peddle their drugs to you directly, they'll force them on you through your local government.

don't be afraid. be angry.

Merck & Co. is helping bankroll efforts to pass state laws requiring girls as young as 11 or 12 to receive the drugmaker's new vaccine against the sexually transmitted cervical-cancer virus.

Gardasil, approved by the federal government in June, protects girls and women against strains of the human papillomavirus, or HPV, that are responsible for most cases of cervical cancer. A government advisory panel has recommended that all girls get the shots at 11 and 12, before they are likely to be sexually active.

note the careful choice of words. "protects" girls and women from cancer. gardicil is a warm, fuzzy protector. that's nice, isn't it?

it's probably not even worth mentioning that merck stands to make billions of dollars if its drug is declared mandatory by the government. the folks at merck aren't motivated by money, after all. they only want to help.

the thing is, though, that gardicil the wonder drug was just fda-approved in june of '06, and no one really knows what the long-term side-effects might be for pre-pubescent girls. did the company run exhaustive pediatric clinical trials on this product? it did not. it ran a small-sample bridging study that may or may not demonstrate safety in peds.

it's entirely possible that gardicil will guard (isn't that clever?) 11 and 12 year-old girls from cervical cancer. or, like more than a few "fda-approved" drugs recently, it might come back to haunt them. vioxx, anyone? the fda, in the thrall of big pharma billions, is no longer worthy of trust in such matters.

shoot, even the governor of texas is on the merck payroll...

Bypassing the Legislature altogether, Republican Gov. Rick Perry issued an order Friday making Texas the first state to require that schoolgirls get
vaccinated against the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer.

By employing an executive order, Perry sidestepped opposition in the Legislature from conservatives and parents' rights groups who fear such a requirement would condone premarital sex and interfere with the way Texans raise their children.

Beginning in September 2008, girls entering the sixth grade - meaning, generally, girls ages 11 and 12 - will have to receive Gardasil, Merck & Co.'s new vaccine against strains of the human papillomavirus, or HPV.

Perry, a conservative Christian who opposes abortion and stem-cell research using embryonic cells, counts on the religious right for his political base. But he has said the cervical cancer vaccine is no different from the one that protects children against polio.

interesting. the governor is a mouth-breathing, anti-science wacko. he's against the very idea of "women's health," but he's all for the new drug from the global conglomerate drug company. does that seem inconsistent to anyone? how much money do you think changed hands there?

my wife and i work in healthcare. she runs global pharma trials, and i...well, i create funny little ads for some of those products. so we both know a little about the drug approval process. how it doesn't always work the way it's supposed to. how sometimes people get hurt by fda-approved products.

do we trust the fda to unfailingly protect patients and the public? do we trust pharma companies about anything? no. make that, "hell no." especially where the health of our children is concerned.

see, we have a daughter. and we're not about to have her pumped full of any drug wantonly pimped by merck and the u.s. government, just because they say so.

cervical cancer is a serious disease. in teens and adults, we hope gardicil is effective in preventing it 1000% of the time.

but the day we're told our daughter must participate in what amounts to a huge government experiment is the day we start the revolution.

i mean, the day she goes back to private school.