Sunday, February 11, 2007

More on the HPV Vaccine

I'm really glad to see that the discussion on the HPV vaccine continues. Real Clear Politics has a very nice round-up on it.

While I disagree with what Governor Perry has done, I really thank him for the controversy which puts HPV in the news. Whether or not the publicity has women getting a vaccine isn't an issue for me, what I'm glad to see is more people getting educated about cervical cancer. I hope that more women go and have a pap smear done. That yearly pap smear will do a whole lot more good for women then that vaccine.
Another post by RCP quotes an email from a physician
Gardasil will not do away with yearly Pap tests for women. It will not meaningfully reduce healthcare costs, in my estimate. Cervix cancer is readily prevented by straightforward treatment of early Pap abnormalities which may over years evolve into cancer if left untreated.
Gardasil's long term safety is unknown, yet we see a stampede to immunize middle school girls with it. Do you remember the swine flu crisis? Those immunizations caused an outbreak of Guillan-Barre syndrome, a debilitating neurologic disorder. There never was a swine flu epidemic in the non-immunized!
Merck will profit from Gardasil, but women's' health will not.

Hallelujah and Amen!

Interesting editorial about the cost effectiveness of the vaccine by Linda Seebach (via Instapudit)
We're not minimizing the impact of those deaths. But on average the cost of preventing each one will be more than $300,000, by back-of-the-envelope figures. (The comparisono is hardly exact, but the cost for detecting each colon cancer and prostate cancer is a few thousand dollars.)

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