By Kate Kelland, Health and Science Correspondent
* Merck to donate 2 million doses of Gardasil HPV vaccine
* Qiagen to give 250,000 tests for women aged 35-45
* Rwanda to pay “dramatically” cut price after first 3 years
LONDON, April 25 (Reuters) – U.S. drugmaker Merck and German diagnostics firm Qiagen are donating millions of human papillomaviros (HPV) vaccines and 250,000 HPV tests to Rwanda to start a national cervical cancer prevention programme.
Merck said on Monday it would provide Rwanda with 2 million doses of its Gardasil vaccine over three years.
The shot costs around $130 a dose in the United States and protects against HPV — a sexually transmitted virus that causes almost all cases of cervical cancer.
Genetic-testing specialist Qiagen is providing 250,000 HPV DNA tests for free during the first three years of the programme.