Merck responds to Gardasil criticism
NEW YORK — Attacks on a human papillomavirus vaccine made amid an increasingly caustic Republican presidential primary battle have drawn a response from the manufacturer.
During a CNN/Tea Party Express debate in Tampa, Fla., Monday night, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota criticized Texas Gov. Rick Perry for signing a 2007 executive order mandating that girls be vaccinated against HPV with Merck & Co.’s Gardasil (Human Papillomavirus Quadrivalent [Types 6, 11, 16 and 18] Vaccine, Recombinant). Following the debate, Bachmann told "Fox News" that a woman had approached her and said the vaccine had caused "mental retardation" in her young daughter.
Bachmann did not support the claim with scientific evidence, and no studies have linked Gardasil with mental retardation. HPV causes genital warts and also can cause cancer, particularly cervical cancer, which about 12,000 women in the United States develop each year, according to Merck.
"The facts about Gardasil are clear," read a statement released by Merck on Tuesday that did not directly reference the debate or either of the candidates. "The efficacy and safety of Gardasil was established in clinical trials in thousands of patients. Since its approval in 2006, the vaccine has been given to millions of girls around the world. Merck remains strongly committed to preventing cervical cancer."
Meanwhile, the American Academy of Pediatrics offered a more direct response.
“The American Academy of Pediatrics would like to correct false statements made in the Republican presidential campaign that HPV vaccine is dangerous and can cause mental retardation," AAP president O. Marion Burton said. "There is absolutely no scientific validity to this statement. Since the vaccine has been introduced, more than 35 million doses have been administered, and it has an excellent safety record."
Motivational speaker Gary Bradt to address CRN symposium
WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition last week added Gary Bradt, motivational speaker and author of "The Ring in the Rubble: Dig Through Change and Find Your Next Golden Opportunity," to its roster of speakers at The Conference, CRN’s annual symposium for the dietary supplement industry.
Bradt, a clinical psychologist, has helped companies adapt to new technologies and government regulations; inspired innovative thinking amidst consolidation; helped drive employees to adapt following reorganizations and helped drive customers toward a new product.
“Our industry continues to grow, but with that growth comes growing pains and adversity,” stated Steve Mister, president and CEO of CRN. “Gary Bradt will help conference participants identify ways to sift through the fears of change and turn them into motivation to achieve even greater success. This session will help executives adapt to potentially negative situations that impact their businesses."
The Conference takes place Oct. 19 to 22 at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.
Estée Lauder, fashion company Marni ink multiyear licensing deal
NEW YORK — Estée Lauder announced that its Aramis and designer fragrances division will assume the exclusive worldwide license for the fragrance business of Marni, a Milan-based luxury fashion company founded by Consuelo and Gianni Castiglioni in 1994.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Wearing Marni is like wearing a piece of art. It is an expression of individuality. Few designers can make the fashion community smile the way Consuelo does,” stated Veronique Gabai-Pinsky, global brand president of Aramis and designer fragrances. “Marni adds to our overall strategy by building on our European fragrance business in the high-end segment. Marni is a luxury brand with a loyal cult-like following that appeals globally to a sophisticated, trend-conscious customer.”
The first product introduction will be unveiled in fall 2012.