HPV vaccine promotion and government interference


hThe co-inventor of the technology enabling the HPV vaccines, Professor Ian Frazer, has acknowledged that the risk of cancer associated with the HPV virus is very low.[1]  Yet mass populations of children around the world are being coerced into HPV vaccination, while the long-term consequences of these vaccines are unknown.

We need an investigation into why these questionable vaccines are being mass-marketed, and the lack of adequate ‘informed consent’ before this medical intervention.

Let’s start by demanding an investigation into how the Gardasil HPV vaccine was fast-tracked onto the Australian vaccination schedule in 2007.

The archived fact sheet on the Australian Government Funding of Gardasil states “The Government has agreed with the recommendation of its expert advisory committee, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC), that GARDASIL should be funded under the National Immunisation Program, commencing in the 2007 school year…”[2]

However the Gardasil HPV vaccine was originally rejected by the PBAC in 2006.  An article in The Australian at the time, “Howard rescues Gardasil from Abbott poison pill”, reports the PBAC rejected Gardasil because it was “too expensive and, just maybe, not what it was cracked up to be anyway”.  According to the article, Tony Abbott, then the Australian Federal Health Minister “took to the airwaves, passing on PBAC’s concerns about the efficacy of Gardasil and even floating the bizarre idea that a misplaced confidence in the effectiveness of the vaccine might actually result in “an increase in cancer rates”.”[3]

According to Matthew Stevens’ report in The Australian, it took just 24 hours for the then Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, to “put an end to the nonsense”, delivering “sparkling prime ministerial endorsement to Gardasil along with a clear direction to Minister Abbott that the immunisation program should proceed. And pronto.”[4]

In her report “Government response to PBAC recommendations”, Marion Haas also provides some commentary on the Australian government’s interference with the PBAC’s initial rejection of Gardasil, noting the then Prime Minister, John Howard, “intervened personally by announcing that the drug would be subsidised (ie listed) as soon as the manufacturer offered the right price.  The PBAC subsequently convened a special meeting and recommended that Gardasil be listed on the PBS”[5] (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme).

Haas notes the main objectives “of the PBAC are to consider the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of medicines in making recommendations to government regarding the listing of drugs for public subsidy.  A perceived willingness to interfere in this process may undermine these objectives…”  Government reaction which results in reversal of PBAC decisions has “the potential to send signals to manufacturers and lobby groups that a decision made by the PBAC may be reversed if sufficient public and/or political pressure is able to be brought to bear on the PBAC…this may undermine the processes used by the PBAC to determine its recommendations and hence the perceived independence of the PBAC.”[6] 

After the Australian government’s interference in this matter, other countries adopted HPV vaccination, resulting in multi millions of dollars’ worth of sales for the makers of the HPV vaccines, i.e. Merck (Gardasil) and GlaxoSmithKline (Cervarix)[7], and royalties for Ian Frazer from sales of HPV vaccines in developed countries[8].

Ian Frazer has acknowledged that the risk of cancer associated with the HPV virus is very low[9].  Since the introduction of the National Cervical Screening Program, the mortality from cervical cancer has halved.[10]  Given the low risks associated with the HPV virus, the Australian government’s role in over-turning the PBAC’s original rejection of the Gardasil vaccine, and the lobbying involved, should be subjected to scrutiny.

It’s time for an investigation into the establishment of the lucrative international market for the questionable HPV vaccines.

For further background refer to my previous post “Is universal HPV vaccination justifiable?”

Also refer to the Sanevax website for more information on this topic, including personal reports of adverse experiences after HPV vaccination.


References:  (Links active as at 11 November 2013.)

[1] In his article “Catch cancer? No thanks, I’d rather have a shot!”, Ian Frazer states: “Through sexual activity, most of us will get infected with the genital papillomaviruses that can cause cancer. Fortunately, most of us get rid of them between 12 months to five years later without even knowing we’ve had the infection. Even if the infection persists, only a few individuals accumulate enough genetic mistakes in the virus-infected cell for these to acquire the properties of cancer cells.” The Conversation, 10 July 2012: https://theconversation.com/catch-cancer-no-thanks-id-rather-have-a-shot-7568

[2] Archived Fact Sheets. Australian Government Funding of Gardasil. Updated 28 November 2006: http://archive.is/pm19

[3] Howard rescues Gardasil from Abbott poison pill. The Australian, 11 November, 2006: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/archive/business/howard-rescues-gardasil-from-abbott-poison-pill/story-e6frg9lx-1111112503504

[4] Ibid.

[5] Haas, Marion. “Government response to PBAC recommendations”. Health Policy Monitor, March 2007: http://hpm.org/en/Surveys/CHERE_-_Australia/09/Government_response_to_PBAC_recommendations.html

[6] Ibid.

[7] FierceVaccines special report on the 20 Top-selling Vaccines – H1 2012 states that H1 2012 sales for Gardasil (Merck) were $608 million, and sales for Cervarix (GlaxoSmithKline) were $285 million: http://www.fiercevaccines.com/special-report/20-top-selling-vaccines/2012-09-25

[8] “Catch cancer? No thanks, I’d rather have a shot!”. The Conversation, 10 July 2012: https://theconversation.com/catch-cancer-no-thanks-id-rather-have-a-shot-7568 The disclosure statement on this article by Ian Frazer states: “Ian Frazer as co-inventor of the technology enabling the HPV vaccines receives royalties from their sale in the developed world.”

[9] See ref 1 for quote from “Catch cancer? No thanks, I’d rather have a shot!”. The Conversation, 10 July 2012: https://theconversation.com/catch-cancer-no-thanks-id-rather-have-a-shot-7568

[10] Key Statistics. National Cervical Screening Program: http://www.cancerscreening.gov.au/internet/screening/publishing.nsf/Content/facts



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