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Denmark approves free HPV vaccinations

Schoolgirls in Denmark will be offered free vaccinations to inoculate against human papillomavirus later this year it was announced on March 4.

Schoolgirls in Denmark will be offered free vaccinations to inoculate against human papillomavirus (HPV) later this year it was announced on March 4.

The Danish government has ruled that girls between the ages of 12 and 15 will be offered free HPV vaccinations.

HPV vaccinations have been developed to protect girls/women against HPV-related genital diseases such as cervical cancer.

Didier Hoch, president of Sanofi Pasteur, said: "This is great news for the girls in Denmark."

"They will soon have full access to this vaccination that can help save lives and protect health from cervical cancer and other HPV-related genital diseases."

Girls born between 1993 and 1995 will start receiving free doses from October 1, and from the beginning of 2009 children across the country will be offered HPV vaccinations when they turn 12.

This decision comes after a recommendation by the Danish National Board of Health (NBH) in October 2007 that a nation-wide HPV vaccination programme be introduced.

Gardasil, a vaccination developed by Sanofi Pasteur and that protects against HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18, has been met with global recognition from health authorities, physicians, and experts, and has been approved in 93 countries.

GSK manufactures another HPV vaccine Cervarix, which protects against HPV types 16 and 18.

Based on the recommendation from the NBH the Danish government has decided to call a tender between Sanofi Pasteur MSD and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). The level of protection against cervical cancer will be the primary criterion for the tender and the price of the vaccine will also be a decisive factor in the Danish government's evaluation. Finally, protection against genital warts may be taken into consideration provided that the two competing vaccines are equal on the two main criteria.

Ebbe Englev, Medical Director, GSK Denmark said: "We welcome the decision by the Danish government to call a tender for introduction of a cervical cancer vaccine into the Danish Childhood Vaccination Program.

"We believe that it is in the interest of Danish girls and their families and also the Danish economy that the government runs a fair and transparent tender process which assesses the medical benefits versus the costs associated. This means that we in Denmark will receive the best cancer vaccine at the best price. At GSK we are confident and we very much look forward to the tender process."

4th March 2008

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