Rejecting the Vaccine Gifthorse

Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, with 500,000 new cases each year worldwide and 274,000 annual deaths.  In the US, there are 12,000 new cases a year and 3,600 deaths – better than the international rate because of extensive Pap smear testing.  New vaccines are able to prevent about 70% of these cancers and millions of young American women are taking advantage of the opportunity.  The payoff is attractive: the social cost is from $30,000 to $70,000 per year of life saved in the developed world.  If the price comes down, these vaccines could "revolutionize women's health" in developing countries, particularly Africa.

A front page story on this spectacular medical development appears in The New York Times, running to almost two full inside pages.  The article is filled with….celebration?….no criticism!….of many things….but mainly of drug companies for marketing the vaccines and …..(are you ready?)….ACTUALLY MAKING A PROFIT.

The Times should focus next on childhood vaccines, where federal policy has squeezed all profit out of the market, where there is no promotion or marketing, and where the vaccination rates are abysmally low – even where the procedure is free.

See the NCPA Brief Analysis on this.

Comments (2)

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  1. Jess says:

    Thanks for posting this.

  2. Devon Herrick says:

    The New York Times also ran an article “A Lifesaving Tool Against Cervical Cancer Remains Underused,” which lamented that only about one-in-four eligible girls were receiving this vaccine.

    Writing for, Sydney Spiesel explains that many mothers who don’t have their daughters vaccinated believe the kids don’t need the vaccine because they are years away from sexual activity. Ms. Spiesel explains that is precisely the point, the vaccine builds up stronger immunity if given to a young girl rather than young woman in her teens.