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March 31, 2007

Merck’s profit motive

I read with great interest Mary Sanchez’s opinion piece concerning Merck’s new Gardasil vaccine (3/27, “Wishful thinking is no basis for public policy”).
I’m afraid, however, that Sanchez slid over the most important piece of the story. She mentions that 20 states are considering mandating the vaccinations for grade-school girls, but doesn’t take into consideration the bottom line: Merck’s quest for the mighty dollar.
There is no reason to make Gardasil a mandatory vaccination for girls entering sixth grade. HPV is not transferred by coughing or sneezing or casual contact in school rooms. There is no reason for every single little girl to undergo this new, barely tested and possibly dangerous drug.
Think how much money Merck will make, however, on these vaccines. It takes three shots, at $120 each, to complete the vaccine. That’s $360 for every little girl in sixth grade.
No wonder they’re pushing for it in so many states. Those golden parachutes for their management employees have to be funded from somewhere. Why not on the health of all those little girls?
Toni’ Snyder
Kansas City



$120 per shot has got to be a rip off. Yes, I know, development costs money. But we seem to forget the economy of scale involved in mandated the vacine.

I wonder what the amount of "donations" are that Merck has given to supporters of mandated vacinations is versus to their "donations" to those that oppose it.

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