By Gary Null PhD and Nancy Ashley VMD | January 25th, 2012
With complete disregard for the welfare and safety of the people who take their products, the pharmaceutical industry has made a habit of putting profits above all else. Despite a track record of bringing us drugs that kill and maim, such as Vioxx, AZT, Fen Phen, and Thalidomide, there is never an apology, never a commitment to improve, never even an acknowledgement that they have done anything wrong. Now, as if we have learned nothing from history, the drama is unfolding yet again, this time with Gardasil.
Gardasil, the human papillomavirus vaccine produced by Merck, was brought to market in 2006 with great fanfare, widely proclaimed as the first ever anti-cancer vaccine. Merck created a market for Gardasil out of thin air with deceptive and dishonest advertising, and thereby planted fear in the mind of consumers: fear of an enormous, yet unknown health crisis, an invisible time bomb waiting to explode and harm women everywhere. When criticized for their aggressive marketing, Merck countered that they were performing a public service by raising awareness about the human papillomavirus and weren’t selling anything. Really?
This lie became public as Merck was caught lobbying the 50 states for mandatory Gardasil vaccination before it had even secured FDA approval! The fact is that there was never a need for Gardasil in the first place: regular Pap testing had already lowered the incidence of cervical cancer by 80% in the US to a few thousand cases a year and the vast majority of all HPV infections resolve of their own accord.
But by lining the coffers of such groups as Women in Government (WIG), and, of course, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Merck was able to influence legislation such that almost immediately after the vaccine was approved, it was part of the vaccine schedule recommended for all girls. If it hadn’t been for Governor Rick Perry’s blunder of trying to mandate Gardasil for school attendance in Texas in the face of huge conflict of interest and a $50 million contribution to his presidential campaign, Gardasil might have gone even further.
There is something deeply wrong with a giant pharmaceutical company spending hundreds of millions of dollars to manipulate women and influence legislation in order to generate a revenue stream of billions of dollars a year for themselves at the expense of a gullible public. Because what is wrong with Gardasil isn’t just that it is unnecessary. Gardasil is possibly the most dangerous vaccine on the market with the potential to injure, maim, or even kill the children who receive it.
The program of coercion to vaccinate every 11 to 26 year-old girl with Gardasil is relentless. This vaccine is given not just in doctor’s offices, where doctors have been known to “fire” non-compliant patients, but in schools and colleges, where the pressure on girls and their parents to conform can be extreme. These institutions all have quotas — sometimes including financial rewards — and they are anxious to prove high rates of compliance.
But there is no informed consent prior to vaccination, so most of these girls and their parents have no idea what they are risking by agreeing to vaccination with Gardasil. While Merck, the FDA, the CDC and the medical establishment all deny that there have been serious, life-altering adverse events associated with Gardasil, the fact is that compared with the mandated vaccines which are given with greater frequency, Gardasil still has the most adverse events reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) of any vaccine. And since reporting of adverse events is not mandatory in the US (although outbreaks of so-called vaccine-preventable illness are), it is likely that only 10% even get reported!
But what of the victims of Merck’s war on cervical cancer? Alexis Wolf was a normal seventh grader in 2007. She had Type I diabetes, but had successfully learned how to give herself insulin shots and eventually graduated to an insulin pump, which she also mastered easily. Alexis made the honor roll for the first time that year, and was rewarded with a trip to Germany over the summer to visit her grandparents. Her endocrinologist believed that the diabetes was under control and felt that Alexis would be perfectly capable of making the trip on her own and managing her diabetes herself. To make sure everything was in order prior to travel, Alexis’ doctor recommended that she receive her first Gardasil vaccine.
The trip went well, but Alexis seemed different to her mother when she returned, perhaps a bit distant. Alexis received her second Gardasil vaccine after coming home, and shortly thereafter her personality changed entirely. For a relatively shy girl, Alexis immediately became very gregarious, hugging everyone all the time. But she also became agitated, troubled, and started having difficulty keeping food down. It reached the point where she threw up a number of times a day, which is especially dangerous for a diabetic. There began a series of appointments with many, many doctors: the GP, the endocrinologist, the cardiologist, the gastroenterologist, and numerous different diagnostic tests. But nothing they did or recommended seemed to help. Alexis was struggling to get through her days, usually carrying a bucket with her at all times just in case. She had terrible insomnia, was eating excessively, and was falling further and further behind in school.