Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Drug Giant Stops HPV Vaccination Lobbying

Merck and Co. has dropped its ridiculous campaign to lobby for state mandated vaccinations against human papilloma virus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection that can cause cervical cancer.

Incredibly, Merck's efforts came to light in January when Texas Gov. Rick Perry issued an executive order requiring vaccinations of all 11- and 12-year-old girls.

Kelly Shackelford, president of the Freemarket Foundation of Texas, said Perry's order angered parents who responded with thousands of angry calls, e-mails and faxes over the issue -- a fact that had to have influenced Merck, if only indirectly.

Perry's order "was a pretty heavy-handed action with no debate, and parents reacted with a firestorm." he said. "This has been in all the newspapers every day for three weeks. It's rare any issue gets coverage like that. And it's not slowing down."

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