Friday, March 9, 2007

HPV Vaccine and Shades of Tuskeegee Testing

Does anyone remember the Tuskeegee Syphilis study?
Poor and illiterate African American sharecroppers became part of a study on the treatment of syphilis. This study became notorious because it was conducted without due care to its subjects. Treatments for infection were withheld. Individuals enrolled in the Tuskegee Syphilis Study did not give informed consent and were not informed of their diagnosis; instead they were told they had "bad blood" and could receive free treatment, a free ride to the clinic, one hot meal per day, and, in the event of death, $1,000 for the funeral. It was an embarrassment and a tragedy.

Apparently pharmaceutical companies like Merck have not learned a blessed thing. Their new HPV vaccine has only been tested for 4 years on a population of about 1100 girls aged 9-15 (only 4% of the total subjects tested), yet they want to have it mandated in all states to 6th grade girls through the public school systems. Again the poor are being targeted.

This stunning article by Star Parker tells how the poor receiving Medicaid will be most likely to get this vaccine. No one really know how this will affect girls in 10 years; if it will affect their fertility or their ability to have healthy children. This vaccine when given to pregnant women, already has produced still born and deformed babies, so it is not recommended for use by pregnant women! Adverse reactions have already been reported - with symptoms such as seizures, development of arthritic symptoms, and many other problems. And the vaccine apparently isn't lasting and may require booster shots later on. No one really knows because it just has not been tested well enough. Although now is Merck's chance to test it on the public at large - including YOUR CHILD !

Aside from the fact that Merck will be reaping billions from taxpayer funded Medicaid programs which will provide this vaccine to those on Medicaid, at $400 per 3 shot treatment, they will be using the poor as their real live test cases.
In a related article, Star Parker says this:
Merck has to love this picture. They don't just get guaranteed purchases from those whose insurance companies will foot the bill. But they'll also get state and federal governments to pay for the low-income kids who, if left alone, would never be their customers. The main risks that these girls from low-income families face stem from their promiscuity.
Cervical cancer is a horrible disease. I have lost a friend and a relative to it. It kills about 3700 women a year. I have heard it said that most of those women might have been alive today if they simply had annual pap smears. Getting a pap smear regularly is the simplest way to detect any cancers early and get prompt treatment. One can still get cervical cancer even if they get the HPV vaccine.

I have to agree with Star:
Merck advertises itself as a company "where patients come first." But if Merck were really placing its patients first, it would not be trying to get government to force them to use its product.
In this case they are getting the taxpayer to foot the bill on their testing and experimentation of this vaccine on the poor who are on Medicaid.

If your state enacts mandating vaccinations, you'd better be sure there is an opt out clause - and you'd better tell others about it.

Be "one less" in their test bed.