Japan panel misled over cervical cancer vaccine decision


An article about the cervical cancer vaccine Cervarix that was used by a health ministry panel to justify subsidies for the drug was written by an employee of its manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline K.K., informed sources said.

According to the Japanese unit of Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline PLC, the article, which was about the importance and challenges of cervical cancer vaccines, was published in a Japanese journal in September 2009.

The article concluded that the use of the vaccine by some 590,000 12-year-old girls would save some ¥1.2 billion in costs by preventing cancer.

The employee was chief of a GlaxoSmithKline K.K. division analyzing the costs and benefits of medical products. But the article did not disclose the employment status of the individual at the company and instead used the title of lecturer at Tokyo Women’s Medical University. The employee quit the company in June 2010.

Cervical cancer vaccinations became routine in Japan last April. But the health ministry stopped recommending them in June due to reported side effects.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>