Originally uploaded by beasleyallen on Feb 4, 2010
The drugs vary in the types of human papillomavirus (HPV) they treat, which is the virus said to cause cervical cancer. Gardasil, manufactured by Merck, Inc., is promoted as the only cervical cancer vaccine that helps protect against four kinds of HPV (types 6, 11, 16 and 18), including two types that cause 70 percent of cervical cancer cases, and two more types that cause 90 percent of genital warts cases.
Cervarix, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, is not currently available in the United States, but was approved for use in the U.S. by the FDA on October 16, 2009, and is expected to enter the market here by late 2009. It is already approved for use in Australia, the Phillipines and the European Union. It is used in the UK for a national program of vaccination for teen and pre-teen girls to target two types of HPV (types 16 and 18) for the prevention of cervical cancer and pre-cancers.
Both Gardasil and Ceravix are marketed to be given to girls and young women as young as age 9, and up to age 26.