According to the Sunday Express [19th April 2009] a group of teenage girls are suing GlaxoSmithKline over their cervical cancer jab, Cervarix. [See report here]
Only last month, The Daily Mail reported that more than 1,300 schoolgirls have experienced adverse reactions to the controversial cervical cancer jab.
Doctors have reported that girls aged just 12 and 13 have suffered paralysis, convulsions and sight problems after being given the vaccine.
Dozens were described as having pain 'in extremity' while others suffered from nausea, muscle weakness, fever, dizziness and numbness.
Today's news should come as no shock. Last year I highlighted on this blog about the dangers of Cervarix and pointed toward children's websites that were promoting GSK's vaccine.
Websites such as Lola'sLand, where it's young readers are told that HPV is a very common sexually transmitted infection and is the main cause of cervical cancer. What the website fails to point out is:
The FDA has, for four years, known that HPV was not the cause of cervical cancer.
Why HPV infections are self-limiting and pose no real danger in healthy women.
You may also remember the uproar when Paul Blackburn was appointed to the board of Ofsted last year. Blackburn is a senior vice-president at GlaxoSmithKline. His appointment came two weeks before the company won a reported £100million contract to vaccinate all schoolgirls of 12 and 13 against the sexually transmitted virus linked to cervical cancer.
Blackburn, later resigned due to public pressure. In July last year Ofsted sent me an email after receiving mine. They confirmed that it was agreed in discussions that Paul [Blackburn]would resign.
This won't be the first time GlaxoSmithKline have faced the wrath of teenage girls. A high school science experiment by two 14-year-old girls embarrassed the world's second-largest food and pharmaceutical company, Glaxosmithkline.
The charges, brought by the Commerce Commission, arose from an investigation by Pakuranga College students Anna Devathasan and Jenny Suo into the vitamin C levels of the popular Ribena drink, which has sales of about $8 million a year.
The students - now 17 - decided in mid-2004 to test the vitamin C levels of their favourite juices, including Ribena, Just Juice and Arano, for a school project.
They calculated that each 100ml of Ribena contained about 22mg of vitamin C.
Just Juice products contained levels of about 72mg.
The figure for Ribena seemed too low, particularly as the company had promoted the product by claiming that blackcurrants had four times the vitamin C of oranges.
"We thought we were doing it wrong, we thought we must have made a mistake," Anna said.
The girls got short shrift when they took their observations to GlaxoSmithKline.
In a letter, the girls described its advertising as "intentionally misleading and quite inappropriate".
When they got no response, they telephoned the company.
"They didn't even really answer our questions. They just said it's the blackcurrants that have it, then they hung up," Jenny said.
Undeterred, the girls contacted the Advertising Standards Authority, and Brandpower, but still got no satisfaction.
But then the television consumer affairs show Fair Go picked up the story and suggested the girls take their findings to the Commerce Commission.
The pair put the matter out of their minds, until the prosecution made the news about a month ago. "It's completely unbelievable," Jenny told the Weekend Herald .
"It's pretty crazy when you realise how much power you can have, as a kid as well." The girls have since visited the company to be thanked "for bringing it to our attention".
GSK's TV advertisements claimed "the blackcurrants in Ribena have four times the vitamin C of oranges".
On March 27, 2007, GSK pleaded guilty in an Auckland District Court to 15 charges relating to misleading conduct brought against them under the Fair Trading Act by New Zealand's Commerce Commission.
As for Cervarix, think twice before allowing your daughter this vaccine. If, at this early stage, Glaxo are being threatened with a lawsuit then think about the long-term implications of anyone taking this vaccine. Let's face it, Glaxo have a pretty poor history when it comes to children and the drugs they aim at them.