Critics accuse Merck of hyping cervical cancer risk

Just how important Gardasil has become to Merck's top line is underscored by a New York Times article analyzing the impact of what the pharma company calls "educational programs" and just about everyone else refers to as a very effective marketing campaign. In a short period of time cervical cancer has transitioned from obscure killer to what the Times calls the "disease of the moment." And tens of millions of girls in Europe and the U.S. have been vaccinated at a cost ranging from $400 to $1,000.

Merck's aggressive marketing has been criticized for pushing parents of very young girls to get vaccinations even though they were likely years away from any likely exposure to the virus.

"This big push is making people crazy--thinking they're bad moms if they don't get their kids vaccinated," said Dr. Abby Lippman, a professor at McGill University.

--read the article in the New York Times