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Wednesday, February 21st 2007

Merck Suspends Active Campaigning

Merck will stop the active lobbying efforts to get the HPV vaccine mandated in states. Their reasoning,

According to the company, Merck made the move to avoid having its campaign take attention away from the bills being drafted in many U.S. states that would make the vaccine mandatory for preteen girls.

“We … do not want any misperception about Merck’s role to distract from the ultimate goal of fighting cervical cancer, so Merck has re-evaluated its approach at the state level and we will not lobby for school requirements for Gardasil,” said Mary Elizabeth Blake, senior director of public affairs for the Merck vaccine division, in a prepared, e-mailed statement.

Which might stem partially at least from the flack they took after Texas became the first state to mandate the vaccine. In that case Governor Perry’s former Chief-of-Staff had Merck as a lobbying client in Austin.

That didn’t raise any eyebrows.