Department of Health to Use Gardasil from September 2012

Department of Health to Use Gardasil from September 2012“From next September, Gardasil will be the vaccine that we offer to girls to protect them against the HPV infection. It’s not unusual for the NHS to change vaccines or other medicines”, said the government’s Director of Immunisation Professor David Salisbury, while briefing an announcement by the UK’s Department of Health notifying to opt Gardasil for its vaccination program against the human papillomavirus (HPV).

While backing its decision to switch, the Department of Health notified that the decision has a strong influence from a competitive tendering exercise and claimed that the swap will play a role to prevent girls from more disease including cancer as compared to presently used GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) Cervarix product that only protect girls from cervical cancer. Besides cervical cancer, Gardasil is also believed to shield girls against the strains of HPV virus that are likely to cause genital warts.

On the other hand, in a statement, GSK confirmed its decision for not participating in the tender process while insisting that the government is more considerate about protecting girls from genital warts rather than cervical cancer.

The General Manager of the GSK for the United kingdom, Simon Jose marked it as very tough decision for the company and expressed disappointment that the criteria for the tender was completely changed. Further, the officer has applauded the GSK efforts for the successful first HPV immunisation programme of the country launched in September 2008. The program was outlined with a focus to immunize girls aged between 12 and 13. According to DH, the move has saved more than 1.5 million lives.

Experts applauded Gardasil attributes that enables to offer protection against HPV strains 16, 18 as well as HPV types 6 and 11 that cause genital warts.