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Gardasil Could Be Effective, but Aggressive Marketing Raises Ethical Concerns

Mercks Gardasil does show real promise for reducing HPV infection in women. Given the increasingly permissive ways of the West , the human papilloma virus is a looming danger and one has to go all out to fight cervical cancer.

But the multi-million marketing by the multi-national drug manufacturer has made experts uneasy.

To give the impression that it could completely eliminate cervical cancer is quite misleading, they say.

Merck used their deep pockets to make sure that even before the FDA had approved Gardasil, The marketing juggernaut was multifaceted and meticulously planned. In 2005 Merck started by funding a campaign called "Make the Connection," run by avowed non-governmental organizations.

A key element of the campaign is the Make the Connection bead, part of a create-it-yourself bracelet kit that will help raise cervical cancer awareness. Make the Connection bracelet kits are available free through the campaign's Web site and toll-free information line -www.maketheconnection.org and 888-4-HPV-CONNECT -and also at Make the Connection beading events across the country. Everyone who orders the free Make the Connection bracelet kit will get two kits, so she can invite someone to join her in showing support against cervical cancer. The beading events will bring women together to bead, talk about cervical cancer and meet the young actresses who are part of the campaign:, so gushed a website.

It is estimated that 563 million people were reached by the TV spots and print coverage in Elle, Redbook, Self, People, Women's Health and many more popular magazines.

"Make the Connection" was eventually transformed into "Make the Commitment." Funded by Merck, "Make the Commitment" nudged women along the path of demanding Gardasil when it would be FDA approved and available.

At the "Make the Commitment" website, women are challenged to sign the following pledge:

"I, (your name), am mak
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SOURCE The Politics and PR of Cervical Cancer



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