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December 23 2009

Marketing and the HPV Vaccine—Reply

JAMA. 2009;302(24):2660-2661. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1887

In Reply: In response to Dr Massad, we remain concerned about a close working relationship between industry representatives and the ASCCP, as suggested by the documents we reviewed.1 The Overview of “Educate the Educators: HPV and the New HPV Vaccine Program” states that “ASCCP has joined with Merck and Company, Digene Corporation, and Roche Molecular Systems, to develop the ‘Educate the Educators’ Program, a series of training courses and home study assessment programs.” The Overview also states that “the Speaker Support Center will also maintain a registry of Educators to be shared with industry sponsors . . . ” and that “center staff will assist both local community services and the commercial sponsors in finding speakers for specific venues.” There is no indication of any firewall between the ASCCP and the companies. We welcome Massad's recognition of the need to decouple education from industry funding but believe that the ASCCP should not remain passive until an alternative mechanism is developed.

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