Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that spreads through skin-to-skin contact. People could contract HPV at some point in their lifetime because it is the most widespread sexually transmitted infection (STI). Most HPV cases are not critical, but some can eventually progress to cervical cancer in women if left untreated. Gardasil is a vaccine developed by Merck & Co to protect against HPV. In June 2006, the company received fast-track FDA approval for the vaccine. At that time, Merck was going through billion-dollar losses incurred after withdrawing rofecoxib (Vioxx) drug from the market. The Gardasil vaccine provided an excellent way to cope with the revenues lost from Vioxx. In this blog learn what the Gardasil lawsuit is and how it affects you.

While seeking FDA approval, Merck hid material facts about the safety and efficacy of Gardasil. Moreover, Merck did not conduct appropriate medical investigations during the preapproval or post-approval phases. The outcome after receiving the Gardasil HPV vaccine was that thousands of teenagers and adults complained of severe and incapacitating side effects. The vaccine became the reason for many deaths and severe injuries. If you or your loved one faced complications after pursuing the Gardasil vaccine, our compassionate legal team at Phillips Law Offices is ready to help you. Visit our website and contact our personal injury lawyers for a free evaluation of your Gardasil-related case.

Marketing strategies for Gardasil promotion

Gardasil® is an HPV vaccine with a minimal efficacy rate. Merck obtained FDA approval for Gardasil in 2006 through deceptive research trials that overstated its benefits while vastly understating the associated risks. Merck aggressively promoted Gardasil through scare tactics, false advertising, and political lobbyists. The company purposefully persuaded millions of parents to vaccinate their adolescent daughters with Gardasil.

Deceptive Marketing Campaign

Before the invention of Gardasil, the demand for an HPV vaccine was almost negligible. There was no HPV public health emergency in the United States, and only a few women were even aware that HPV existed. However, Merck spent significant time and money on HPV disease awareness marketing before launching Gardasil. Subsequently, Merck set up an aggressive propaganda campaign for pre-teen girls to make parents who chose not to give their daughters the vaccine feel guilty. According to Merk’s campaign, good parents vaccinate their children with Gardasil.

Merck falsely concealed the HPV vaccine’s known risks and dangers while exaggerating its efficacy during these aggressive marketing campaigns. With the most aggressive vaccine promotion campaign ever launched, Merck spent more on Gardasil advertising than any other vaccine. The goal was to promote the vaccine product, generate maximum profits, and recover from the previous financial setbacks.

Political lobbyists and donations

In addition to its aggressive marketing campaign, Merk persuaded state legislatures to mandate the Gardasil vaccine for all school children through political lobbying and financial inducements. Merck heavily invested in political lobbying groups like Women in Government and NACCHO in 2004. Then, these organizations began actively lobbying lawmakers to require the Gardasil vaccine for all sixth-grade girls in the country.

Besides paying these lobbyists, Merck gave millions in direct funding to state health departments as contributions to political campaigns. The Maryland Department of Health received $92 million from Merck between 2012 and 2018 to promote the Gardasil vaccine in public schools. This funding essentially paid school administrators to lie to students and parents about the requirement for the Gardasil vaccination.

Allegations on Merck & Co

Gardasil lawsuits contend that Merck & Co misrepresented the efficacy of the HPV vaccine by unfair means. The company falsely advertised that it prevents cervical cancer and persuaded regulators and public health officials to accept Gardasil. However, there is no reliable evidence that Gardasil prevents cervical cancer.

According to a UK study published in January 2020, Merck’s assertion that the Gardasil vaccine prevented cervical cancer is dubious. The study emphasizes that Gardasil had never been illustrated for preventing cervical cancer (or any other type of cancer).

Misrepresenting the efficacy of the vaccine

Gardasil received FDA approval in just six months on medical grounds. But, Merck & Co did not conduct enough research on the adverse effects of the vaccine. The company never kept records of the known risks. For instance, in one Gardasil clinical trial, 90% of participants didn’t receive vaccination report cards. In other words, the follow-up information on adverse effects was not available. And if anyone complained about the reaction, the company did not take further action.

Merck handled clinical trials so poorly that the trial pool seemed already tainted in many cases. Though researchers notified participants that the vaccine was safe and the placebo was a solution, none of their statements were true.

Increases the risk of cervical cancer

cervical cancer
Gardasil Lawsuit

Merck skipped the testing necessary to show that its vaccine prevents cervical cancer. Instead, Merck convinced regulators to allow using “surrogate endpoints” to back up its hypothesis that linked HPV vaccines with cancer prevention. These surrogate endpoints helped Merck to shorten clinical trials and obtain regulatory approvals for the vaccines.

Contrarily, Gardasil seemed to increase the risk of developing cancer rather than preventing it. Several studies showed that Gardasil vaccines facilitated mutagenetic changes in the virus, leading to cancer. Public health data appeared to support the conclusion that Gardasil could increase the incidence of cervical cancer. In Britain, cervical cancer rates among young women aged 25 to 29 rose by 54% following the implementation of the HPV vaccine.

Adverse reactions by the Gardasil vaccine

The risks and benefits associated with the Gardasil vaccine have been questionable. While the vaccine can cause cancer, not every vaccinated person will experience the same negative consequence. According to VAERS (The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System), 53,337 adverse events related to Gardasil have been reported in the United States. Of which, about 9,600 were gravely unfortunate incidents, including 547 deaths.

POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome)

POTS is a condition that causes your heart to beat faster than usual when you move from a seated or lying down position. There is evidence that links the vaccine Gardasil to this condition. It typically affects females born between the ages of 15 and 50. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of Gardasil complications included:

  •  Vertigo
  •  Tinnitus
  •  Fainting
  •  Lightheadedness
  •  Dizziness
  •  Chronic fatigue
  •  Migraine
  •  Nausea
  •  Inability to perform daily activities
  •  A sudden, rapid increase in heart rate
  •  Anxiety
  •  Blurred vision

Autoimmune Disorders

There have been growing concerns linking Gardasil and autoimmune diseases since the late 2000s. Many recipients of this HPV vaccine who experienced autoimmune disorders have filed their complaints. For instance, a woman from Rhode Island woman filed a Gardasil autoimmune disorder Gardasil lawsuit in August last year. She claimed that Merck and Company lied about the efficacy and safety of the human papillomavirus vaccine. Her autoimmune injuries were severe and debilitating as a result of the medication. She developed flu-like symptoms after the second HPV vaccine shot.

Some of the medical conditions that have been part of complaints against Gardasil are:

  •  Fibromyalgia
  •  Orthostatic intolerance (OI)
  •  Guillain–Barré syndrome
  •  Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome
  •  Inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
  •  Multiple sclerosis
  •  Small fiber neuropathy
  •  Autoimmune pancreatitis
  •  Premature ovarian failure
  •  Dysautonomia
  •  Graves disease
  •  Joint pain
  •  Brain fog

Updates on Gardasil Lawsuit (HPV Class Action)

Gardasil HPV Lawsuit
Gardasil Lawsuit

Gardasil caused harm to people for years, with many who received the vaccine growing up dealing with complications. Whereas, some were unfortunate and died due to the injuries sustained by Gardasil-related autoimmune disorders.  On August 19, 2020, Jula Balasco brought the first lawsuit against Merck for Gardasil-related damages in Rhode Island federal court. Later, in May 2022, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated 34 suits filed in 25 federal district courts under one motion. Their lawyers filed them to start a new multi-district litigation Gardasil lawsuit. Judge Robert Conrad Jr. in the Western District of North Carolina would preside over this newly-made class action (In re: Gardasil Prod. Liab. Lit., MDL No. 3036).

Investigations revealed that Merck, the pharmaceutical company, misrepresented Gardasil’s safety and used misleading marketing techniques to promote it. As a result, Merck is now the target of numerous product liability lawsuits. Most likely, many more plaintiffs will come forward with stories of how Gardasil adversely affected their lives in the upcoming years. The litigation process, damages incurred, and potential compensation varies depending on the facts of each case. However, experts presume that lawsuits against Merck will be highly valued because the economic and non-economic damages inflicted by autoimmune disorders are severe. Victims need substantial compensation to cover their medical bills, lost earning potential, reduced quality of life, and pain and suffering.

Attorney for Gardasil Lawsuits (HPV Vaccine)

Though Merch discontinued older versions of the vaccine, it is still widely available as Gardasil 9 since 2016. The VICP authorities received about 400 claims for HPV vaccine injuries between 2006 and 2018. However, not all were eligible for compensation in Vaccine Court. Now that Gardasil lawsuits are in civil court, victims can claim punitive damages. They generally have three years to file a claim. If you or your family member became sick after a Gardasil vaccination, consult our attorneys at Phillips Law Offices for assistance. You qualify for the claim if you sustained Gardasil-related injuries or previously pursued the compensation through Vaccine Court. Since time matters, you should consult our experienced lawyers as soon as possible. We can help you fulfill the legal formalities within the statutory deadlines and receive the compensation value that you deserve.

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