FDA PANEL OKs CERVICAL CANCER VACCINE

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

Merck's Gardasil, a vaccine that blocksviruses that cause most cervical cancers,has been given the green light by an FDAadvisory committee. The panel voted 13 to 0,stating that the vaccine was safe and effectiveand should be approved.The FDA, whichusually follows the panel's recommendation,is expected to make a decision this month.

The vaccine is indicated for the treatmentof sexually transmitted diseases, particularly4 strains of human papillomavirus thatcan cause cervical cancer and genital warts.A Merck official said that the vaccine couldbe recommended for women aged 9 to 26,but it would work best for individuals whohave not yet had sex. The expected cost ofthe vaccine is $300 to $500 (for 3 injectionsgiven over 6 months).