I find myself conflicted here. Polio and chicken pox have become things of the past. Vaccines have changed the world. Most of us here mock the religious nuts who pray and put the rest of us at risk rather than vaccinating their kids.
But pharmaceutical companies do love their profits. I really hate sitting in front of the tv in the evening after a long day of work, and having corporations pushing everything from prescription toe fungus remedies to depression medication to specific birth control pills to osteoporosis prevention stuff and stuff to lower your cholesterol. Why are these things being marketed on tv? Shouldn't medical treatment decisions be between you and your doctor?
But then your realize that they are marketing even more aggressively to the doctors. Fancy luncheons in elegant locations in which they present the wonders of the new miracle drug they just created. A handful of free samples to doctors to give out to their patients. And when the supplies run out, the doctor thinks it is a good idea to write scripts for those products that he learned about over crème brulee.
And on the rare days that I'm sitting in front of daytime television, there are the ads for lawyers who will represent you in lawsuits if you suffered ill effects from the medications that were advertised on tv a couple of years back.
I sort of have a personal policy. I put up a fight if a doctor suggests a NEW medication or a medication that is currently being advertised on tv. I have a slight vitamin D deficiency, and when I broke my foot last year, it took a ridiculously long time to heal. The doctor thinks some popular osteoporosis medication might be in order. I said no, and I'm making a conscious effort to make sure I get vitamin D and calcium (together) in my diet. When menopause takes over, I will do my research and perhaps reconsider. But some of those osteoporosis prevention miracles are among the class action lawsuits of today.
But I get really pissed at those anti-vaccine families, who put everyone in danger. Especially folks who can't get vaccines, like chemo patients and transplant patients, and Guillain-Barre survivors like me.
I got Guillain-Barre from a rubella vaccine. It is a risk. A tiny tiny risk of vaccines. It is very rare. The risk outweighs the benefits of preventing so many diseases.
All of this rambling is my way of building up to this article that some of my friends are posting on facebook today.
Now no vaccine has ever been quite as controversial as garadasil. A recently developed vaccine, it was created to prevent a very common sexually transmitted virus that has been linked to cervical cancer. The corporate marketers didn't go for tv ads. Instead, they got progressive government officials to buy into a sort of public service "education" campaign. I remember when I was in the process of adopting my daughter, a gynecologist started singing its praises, reminding me to make sure my daughter started getting the 3 part vaccine at 9 years old. My daughter was less than a year old, and I didn't even have custody of her yet. But this doctor was singing the praises of this marvelous, wonder vaccine, and reminding me to put in on my schedule towards the end of the next decade.
I told her I was suspicious of new medications, and she countered, with a cheery countenance, proclaiming that this was NOT a medication! It was a vaccine! Like a polio vaccine! Perfectly safe! Life saving!
Well, the suggested start time for this miracle drug is now only 3 years away for my sweet little girl. And the news is not so positive.
The CDC endorses it. Merck made sure of that.
But one of the vaccine developers is making some news speaking out about the risks of the vaccine. The article says:Dr. Harper explained in her presentation that the cervical cancer risk in the U.S. is already extremely low, and that vaccinations are unlikely to have any effect upon the rate of cervical cancer in the United States. In fact, 70% of all H.P.V. infections resolve themselves without treatment in a year, and the number rises to well over 90% in two years. Harper also mentioned the safety angle.
All trials of the vaccines were done on children aged 15 and above, despite them currently being marketed for 9-year-olds. So far, 15,037 girls have reported adverse side effects from Gardasil alone to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (V.A.E.R.S.), and this number only reflects parents who underwent the hurdles required for reporting adverse reactions.http://southweb.org/lifewise/the-lead-vaccine-developer-comes-clean-so-she-can-sleep-at-night-gardasil-and-cervarix-dont-work-are-dangerous-and-werent-tested/
And I find myself really torn. I believe in modern medicine. But the publically traded pharmaceutical industry is about profit, and their marketing strategies are superb.
So scientists, health professionals, skeptics, critical thinkers out there. What are your thoughts? In general, about the unhealthy relationship between for-profit corporations and scientific research, but more specifically about the marketing of Gardasil, vs the benefits of Gardasil.