Friday, May 19, 2006

Halfway There

FDA Acting Commissioner Andrew C. Eschenbach

An FDA advisory panel has approved a vaccine that prevents cervical cancer. Now this medical miracle, a vaccine that prevents a cancer, must approved by the FDA.

Before we celebrate, we must remember that the FDA's Acting Commissioner is right-wing nutjob Andrew C. Eschenbach, director of the National Cancer Institute. In that position, one of his first official actions was to alter a factsheet on the NCI website to make it seem like there might be a link between breast cancer and abortion, although there is no such link and that what's the NCI website said before he got there. So even though the advisory panel decided to endorse the science, there's no telling what fundie Eschenbbach will do.

WaPo: FDA Panel Endorses Cervical Cancer Vaccine

WASHINGTON -- A drug company hopes to win federal approval early next month for a novel cervical cancer vaccine that it touts as the next biggest thing since the pap test in fighting the No. 2 cancer in women.

Merck & Co. already has won a key endorsement of the vaccine, called Gardasil, from a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee. A final decision by the FDA is expected by June 8.

The vaccine, administered in three shots over six months at a cost of $300 to $500, protects against the two types of human papillomavirus (HPV) believed responsible for about 70 percent of cervical cancer cases.

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