FDA Panel: Vaccine Protects Against a CancerWASHINGTON (By Andrew Bridges, AP) - A vaccine with the potential to slash worldwide deaths from cervical cancer, the No. 2 cancer killer in women, should be approved for sales in the United States, a federal panel said Thursday.
A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee voted 13-0 to endorse the safety and effectiveness of Merck and Co.'s Gardasil, which blocks viruses that cause cervical cancer. The company said the vaccine could cut worldwide deaths from the disease by two-thirds.
However, the anticipated cost of the vaccine, administered in three shots over six months, is $300 to $500 — a possible impediment to widespread vaccination campaigns.
The drug protects against the two types of human papillomavirus (HPV) believed responsible for about 70 percent of cervical cancer cases. It also protects against two other virus types that cause 90 percent of genital wart cases. All four virus types are sexually transmitted.
It is recommended for girls and women (9-26), preferably before they become sexually active. There is also consideration to give it to boys and young men, so that they are less likely to transmit it to a partner. Sounds fair enought to me.All Things Considered, May 18, 2006 · An FDA panel recommends the approval of a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer, the second-most deadly cancer for women. The new vaccine, made by Merck, could reduce the number of cervical cancer cases world wide by about two-thirds.
The vaccine protects against the most carcinogenic forms of the human papilloma virus, or HPV, which causes cervical cancer. The federal review panel was unanimous in its approval of the vaccine.
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