Education

Merck Backs Down

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I neglected to note this earlier, but on Tuesday—not long after my column on the subject was published (*)—Merck announced that it would drop its campaign to make its HPV vaccine mandatory.

The company's decision doesn't mean the mandates are dead: Merck may have withdrawn from the debate, but others are still carrying the torch. But they're on the defensive, and the most recent legislature to vote on the idea—in Kansas—has rejected it.

(* No, I'm not taking credit.)

NEXT: Ten Years After Dolly Still No Cloned Armies

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  1. Also on the good news side of the ledger – Texas Governor Hair is getting repeatedly kicked in the crotch by the legislature for trying to mandate this via executive fiat.

  2. The media coverage of this has been terrible. All the newsies want to is talk about SEX.

    I never saw the argument phrased as “It isn’t spread through activities that would take place in a school or public place.” It was always “It’s spread through SEX!”

    Instead of intelligent consideration of the issues, the media seems determined to treat this as a front in the culture war.

  3. Well that certainly amounted to a nice little advertising campaign none the less. I don’t think there is anyone who doesn’t know about this vaccine now.

  4. BTW I am still a bit suprised by Perry. I was also sure he would be running for Vice Pres. Maybe…

  5. I never saw the argument phrased as “It isn’t spread through activities that would take place in a school or public place.” It was always “It’s spread through SEX!”

    One possible reason–sex sometimes takes place in a school or public place.

  6. The NPR story I heard on the drive in this morning, really yanked my short hairs.

    Apparently there is a “consensus” of doctors and public health officials that mandatory vaccination is just peachy, but not in this case. Why? Because Merck would make money and a pharmaceutical making money negates the social health benefits. As an aside, it was mentioned that it also might not be so good, if five years from now we found out the vaccine wasn’t as effective and the side effects were more severe than we thought.

  7. One possible reason–sex sometimes takes place in a school or public place.

    Well yeah, “sometimes”! But not on the scale of, say, breathing.

  8. “Texas Governor Hair”

    That’s governor “Goodhair.”

    Out of respect for the recently departed, if you are going to cop Ivins’ quotes, get ’em right.

  9. That just makes it a more appropriate tribute. When Ivins copped other people’s jokes, she didn’t always get them right either.

  10. Of course Kansas rejected it. State officials are limited by tradition to one sane decision per year, and this year’s has already come: to stop promoting Intelligent Design in public schools.

  11. “The NPR story I heard on the drive in this morning, really yanked my short hairs. Apparently there is a “consensus” of doctors and public health officials that mandatory vaccination is just peachy, but not in this case. Why? Because Merck would make money and a pharmaceutical making money negates the social health benefits. As an aside, it was mentioned that it also might not be so good, if five years from now we found out the vaccine wasn’t as effective and the side effects were more severe than we thought.”

    That over-the-top anti-capitalist mentality is why I will never donate to either NPR or PBS. PBS is no longer needed for all the British stuff because that is what BBC America is for and NPR is no longer needed for Classical Music or Jazz because there are thousands of music stations streaming online. For the TRUE music junkie there is now XM or Serious.

  12. …….if five years from now we found out the vaccine wasn’t as effective and the side effects were more severe than we thought.

    Which is why mandatory isn’t often uttered in the same sentence with libertarian.

  13. I never saw the argument phrased as “It isn’t spread through activities that would take place in a school or public place.” It was always “It’s spread through SEX!”

    Perhaps that’s because the latter is both shorter and contains more information. I’m not sure how that makes the ensuing debate less intelligent, unless “intelligent debate” == “everyone agreeing with my position” in your mind.

  14. “Of course Kansas rejected it. State officials are limited by tradition to one sane decision per year, and this year’s has already come: to stop promoting Intelligent Design in public schools.”

    Kansas is going to wait for God to intelligently design Kansan girls to not be susceptible to HPV.

  15. AUSTIN, Texas – Gov. Rick Perry’s chief of staff met with key aides about a new vaccine to prevent cervical cancer on the same day its manufacturer donated money to his campaign, documents obtained by The Associated Press show.

    A calendar for chief of staff Deirdre Delisi obtained under Texas’ open records laws shows she met with the governor’s budget director and three members of his office for an “HPV Vaccine for Children Briefing” on Oct. 16. That same day, Merck & Co.’s political action committee donated $5,000 to Perry and a total of $5,000 to eight state lawmakers.
    link

  16. As a male,and a probable vector of this disease I want to help do my part in reducing this tragedy. It’s hard to get attention if you aren’t a nubile young female…

  17. From yesterdays Pharma newsletter-

    Texas Governor’s Cervical Cancer Vaccine Meeting Coincides with Donation, Article Says Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s chief of staff met with key aides about the new vaccine Gardasil to prevent cervical cancer on the same day Merck donated $5,000 to his campaign, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. Perry’s spokesman said the timing of the meeting and the donation was a coincidence, while Merck had no immediate comment. Texas became the first state to require the vaccine against human papillomavirus earlier this month, but state lawmakers are considering overriding the measure.

    Ask your doctor if its right for you!

  18. “Perhaps that’s because the latter is both shorter and contains more information.” Yes, that’s generally why people on the teevee talk up sex. Because it’s short and informative. Do you own a television, crimethink?

    “I’m not sure how that makes the ensuing debate less intelligent,” by burying the complexity of the question under a simple, polarizing rubric. This is cofusing to you?’

    “…unless “intelligent debate” == “everyone agreeing with my position” in your mind.”

    OK, crimethink, what’s my position?

    Hmm?

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