Saturday, February 3, 2007

Follow the Money

or... How easy it was to get a vaccine legislated.

my earlier HPV vaccine rant

James "Rick" Perry: governor of Texas
Mike Toomey: former chief of staff, now lobbyist for Merck
Deirdre Delisi: current Chief of Staff
Dianne Delisi: State Rep, Chair of the House Committee on Public Health, State Director for Women in Government

$253M - Merck liability to the widow of Vioxx user Robert Ernst, as awarded by a Houston jury
$26.1M - Liability ceiling under Texas state law

$1M - Merck cash donation to the American Red Cross following Hurricane Katrina
$2.6M - Merck donation in the form of vaccines

$87,000 - Merck donations to statewide campaigns
$6000 - Merck donation to Rick Perry's election campaign
10% - Merck's fraction of total Texas campaign donations made by pharmaceutical industry affiliates

$360 - approximate cost of full dose of vaccine
2 - Texas state rank in cervical cancer cases
25% - estimated fraction of uninsured Texans

Texas Executive Order: provision of the state constitution that allows the governor to set policy without legislative vote.

"I look at this no different than vaccinating our children for polio,” Rick Perry
"Democracy functions best when we have an active citizenry. " Rick Perry

4: number of years the vaccine has been tested
None: number of adult women who were vaccinted as girls
Unknown: long range effects of vaccine on adult women and birth defects

one consistency in policy: still against a woman's right to choose.

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