Merck Payola Pays Off:

Texas Governor Orders STD Vaccine for ALL girls

From: Alliance for Human Research Protection

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Posted on February 5, 2007

[Also see, " Vaccine Center Issues Warning," Washington Times, Feb 3, 2007: " The National Vaccine Information Center yesterday warned state officials to investigate the safety of a breakthrough cancer vaccine as Texas became the first state to make the vaccine mandatory for school-age girls. Negative side effects of Gardasil, a new Merck vaccine to prevent the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer, are being reported in the District of Columbia and 20 states, including Virginia. The reactions range from loss of consciousness to seizures."]

This morning's news from America provides a vivid example of government corruption involving pharmaceutical lobbying, bribing and manipulating health care policy decisions.

Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, has issued an order to vaccinate ALL Texas girls with Merck's STD vaccine without a thought about the possible adverse side effects that may pose serious risks to these girls--especially their reproductive function.

Not so long ago, hormone replacement therapy was widely prescribed on the basis of CLAIMS that turned out to be false. HRT was supposed to reduce breast cancer, stroke, and heart attacks--not only did it fail to deliver on these promises, HRT increased ovarian cancer.

A science teacher who learned about the order wrote to us this morning: "I am so bothered by the speed by which adults are ready to put chemicals into little girls bodies without a full understanding of what harm those chemicals could cause in the short and long term. Is there any kind of campaign against this being waged?" The Governor of Texas clearly has given no consideration for the potential harm that his order might cause the girls.

Noteworthy are the ties that bind the Governor to Merck and to Women in Government, the group that Merck paid to lobby for this mind-boggling order. The Associated Press reports that one of Merck's three lobbyists in Texas is Mike Toomey, Perry's former chief of staff. His current chief of staff's mother-in-law, Texas Republican state Rep. Dianne White Delisi, is a state director for Women in Government.The governor also received $6,000 from Merck's political action committee during his re-election campaign.

Also noteworthy is that under then governor George W. Bush, TMAP, the pharmaceutical manufacturers' cash cow to mega-billion dollar cash transference from the public purse to Big Pharma, was launched. TMAP (Texas medication algorithm project) is the vehicle that catapulted psychotropic drugs--in particular patent protected antidepressants and antipsychotics--to blockbuster status despite lack of scientific evidence that the drugs work to improve mental health, and despite evidence that these drugs wreak havoc on both the mental and physical health of consumers.

Health care policy under the influence of Big Pharma is illustrated by 13 year old Aliah Gleason of Texas who was prescribed 12 psychotropic drugs --many simultaneously--without her parents' consent. See: Waters, R. Medicating Aliah, Mother Jones, May/June 2005. [See here for complete story.]

Governor Perry, does your order to vaccinate all 11 year old girls mean that you are eliminating parental rights? What if parents refuse to give consent to vaccinate their daughter?

Vera Hassner Sharav


Texas governor orders STD vaccine for all girls Decision comes
after maker of cervical cancer shot doubled lobbying efforts

[See entire article here.]
Feb 2, 2007

AUSTIN, Texas - Bypassing the Legislature altogether, Republican Gov. Rick Perry issued an order Friday making Texas the first state to require that schoolgirls get vaccinated against the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer. By employing an executive order, Perry sidestepped opposition in the Legislature from conservatives and parents' rights groups ...

Merck is bankrolling efforts to pass state laws across the country mandating Gardasil for girls as young as 11 or 12. It doubled its lobbying budget in Texas and has funneled money through Women in Government, an advocacy group made up of female state legislators around the country.

Perry tied to Merck
Perry has ties to Merck and Women in Government. One of the drug company's three lobbyists in Texas is Mike Toomey, Perry's former chief of staff. His current chief of staff's mother-in-law, Texas Republican state Rep. Dianne White Delisi, is a state director for Women in Government. The governor also received $6,000 from Merck's political action committee during his re-election campaign.

The order is effective until Perry or a successor changes it, and the Legislature has no authority to repeal it, said Perry spokeswoman Krista Moody. Moody said the Texas Constitution permits the governor, as head of the executive branch, to order other members of the executive branch to adopt rules like this one.

Legislative aides said they are looking for ways around the order for parents who oppose it.

"He's circumventing the will of the people," said Dawn Richardson, president of Parents Requesting Open Vaccine Education, a citizens group that fought for the right to opt out of other vaccine requirements. "There are bills filed. There's no emergency except in the boardrooms of Merck, where this is failing to gain the support that they had expected."

Opt-out option for parents
Texas allows parents to opt out of inoculations by filing an affidavit objecting to the vaccine on religious or philosophical reasons. Even with such provisions, however, conservative groups say such requirements interfere with parents' rights to make medical decisions for their children.

The federal government approved Gardasil in June, and a government advisory panel has recommended that all girls get the shots at 11 and 12, before they are likely to be sexually active.

The New Jersey-based drug company could generate billions in sales if Gardasil - at $360 for the three-shot regimen - were made mandatory across the country. Most insurance companies now cover the vaccine, which has been shown to have no serious side effects. Merck spokeswoman Janet Skidmore would not say how much the company is spending on lobbyists or how much it has donated to Women in Government. Susan Crosby, the group's president, also declined to specify how much the drug company gave.

A top official from Merck's vaccine division sits on Women in Government's business council, and many of the bills around the country have been introduced by members of Women in Government.

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