Medical associations promote vaccines using funds from vaccine's maker

It appears that at least three medical associations promoted a vaccine that protects against a sexually transmitted virus using funds provided by the vaccine's maker, according an article appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Gardasil, a vaccine against a virus known as HPV that can cause cervical cancer, enlisted the help of the American College Health Association, the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology and the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists. These groups used the same marketing strategy used by Merck, the maker of the drug, to market their drug to end users.

Merck has already admitted that it gave $199,000 the ACHA, $300,000 to the ASCCP and $250,000 to SGO, but of course, officials with Merck and the groups said the funding was perfectly appropriate. They said Merck provided the funding for education efforts about the vaccine, but did not influence the content of the marketing programs.

To learn more about the funding:
- read this Washington Post piece