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SCIENCE
May 10, 2007 | Thomas H. Maugh II and Jia-Rui Chong, Times Staff Writers
New data on the controversial HPV vaccine designed to prevent cervical cancer have raised serious questions about its efficacy, researchers reported today, potentially undercutting the efforts in many states to make vaccination mandatory. Although the vaccine, called Gardasil, blocked about 100% of infections by the two human papilloma virus strains it targets, it reduced the incidence of cancer precursors by only 17% overall.
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HEALTH
November 20, 2006
Q: I have human papilloma virus. Can I still get the shot that just came out — even though I already have the virus? VERENICE Carson City, Calif. A: The first vaccine to prevent human papilloma virus, called Gardasil, become available this year. The federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted in June to recommended the vaccine (a series of three shots given over a six-month period) for all girls and women ages 9 to 26. It's best if the vaccine is given before a female becomes sexually active.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 24, 2006 | Lynn Doan, Times Staff Writer
The Los Angeles Unified School District, and possibly dozens of other school districts in Los Angeles County, plan to offer female students a controversial vaccine that prevents a virus linked to cervical cancer, health officials said. As the shots become available in the coming months, L.A.
HEALTH
March 19, 2007 | Shari Roan, Times Staff Writer
With human papillomavirus, girls and women have been getting all the attention. Parents across the nation have rushed to have their daughters vaccinated against the virus. States are wrestling with whether to require that adolescents get the vaccine. And recent research found that many more girls and women are infected with human papillomavirus than was previously thought -- more than one-quarter of females ages 14 to 59. Now the attention is turning to boys and men.
BUSINESS
April 20, 2007 | From Bloomberg News
Sales of anti-cholesterol pills bolstered profits at Merck & Co. and Schering-Plough Corp., partners in marketing two of the fastest-growing treatments to prevent heart disease. Wyeth and Baxter International Inc. also reported Thursday an increase in first-quarter earnings on higher sales of drugs for arthritis and hemophilia. Wyeth shares fell after the fourth-largest U.S. drug maker said two new products would be delayed. Shares of Schering-Plough, based in Kenilworth, N.J., rose $2.45, or 8.
OPINION
August 18, 2006
LOS ANGELES MIDDLE SCHOOLERS will have the chance to benefit from an extraordinary medical breakthrough when they return to class in a few weeks: The L.A. Unified School District will make available to female students the first vaccine to protect against the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer. The vaccine, approved in June by the Food and Drug Administration, is most effective when given to girls before they become sexually active.
BUSINESS
February 21, 2007 | From Times Staff Reports and the Associated Press
Merck & Co., bowing to pressure from parents and medical groups, is immediately suspending its lobbying campaign to persuade state legislatures to mandate that adolescent girls get the company's new vaccine against cervical cancer as a requirement for school attendance. The drug maker, which announced the change Tuesday, had been criticized for quietly funding the campaign, via a third party, to require that 11- and 12-year-old girls get the three-dose vaccine in order to attend school.
SCIENCE
October 7, 2005 | Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writer
An experimental vaccine against cervical cancer has cleared its final clinical hurdle, showing in a large trial of more than 12,000 women that it is 100% effective in blocking the major forms of the disease, its manufacturer said Thursday. Merck Inc. said it would seek Food and Drug Administration approval for the vaccine, called Gardasil, this year and could begin marketing it next year. The vaccine immunizes against human papilloma virus, or HPV, the primary cause of cervical cancer.
BUSINESS
October 23, 2008 | times wire services
Drug maker Merck & Co. said it would slash 7,200 jobs as part of a new restructuring program that comes as its third-quarter profit plunged 28% because of a hefty restructuring charge and flat sales. The maker of allergy and asthma treatment Singulair and cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil said it would cut nearly 13% of its workforce to lower overhead and become more competitive in its second major restructuring in less than three years. Merck shares closed down $1.96 at $28.01. Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based Merck took a $612-million charge for restructuring, reducing net income for its third quarter to $1.09 billion, or 51 cents a share.
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