Gardasil denied federal subsidy in Australia

Australia's Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee rejected CSL's application to subsidise cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil, citing high costs and uncertainty about the vaccine's long-term effectiveness. The company said it is "disappointed" in the decision, but will continue to work with the government and is "committed to securing government funding for Gardasil," Bloomberg reports.

Health Minister Tony Abbott stated that the committee "doesn't think that Gardasil is cost effective, but at a different price and with new information there's every reason to think [the committee] could come up with a different decision," as reported in ABC Online. Meanwhile, a health department spokesperson noted that in order for a new application to be considered, CSL should lower its price, and provide more information about the length of the vaccine's effectiveness as well as whether a booster could be required, as reported in The Daily Telegraph.

CSL spokeswoman Rachel David explained that the company offered a "very substantial discount" to the government, The Australian reports. The company's application proposed that the National Vaccination Program immunise 12- to 26-year-old girls and women for the first two years, and thereafter only 12-year-old girls.

CSL licensed the treatment to Merck & Co., and receives royalties on the vaccine's sales.

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