HPV :: New funding for HPV vaccine could help stop needless loss of women’s lives

The Federation of Medical Women of Canada commends the federal government for making $300 million over the next three years available to the provinces and territories to support the launch of a national program for GARDASIL(TM), the approved vaccine for HPV-related diseases such as cervical cancer and genital warts.

The Federation is now challenging provincial governments to follow through and rapidly make the HPV vaccination universally available.

“With this new budget, the federal government is showing true leadership with respect to women’s health,” said Dr. Gail Beck, President of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada. “Last fall, we urged the federal government to fund new vaccines, including GARDASIL(TM), which we believe is the biggest medical breakthrough in women’s health in many years. On International Women’s Day we reiterated our message of having the cost of this vaccine covered and today the federal government has come through. We are now looking to the provincial governments to help bring an end to cervical cancer in Canada.”

Last fall, the Federation of Medical Women of Canada presented a brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance requesting funds for a universal HPV vaccination program.

In July 2006, GARDASIL(TM) was approved by Health Canada and in January 2007 the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommended that all Canadian girls and women aged nine to 26 be routinely vaccinated with GARDASIL(TM) to help protect them against cervical cancer, among other HPV-related diseases.

“GARDASIL(TM) has been approved, endorsed and now funded. It’s time for the provincial governments to step up to the plate and make universal access to the HPV vaccine a reality,” said Dr. Beck. “Each provincial government must act rapidly to put a stop to the needless loss of life. One woman dies of cervical cancer every day in this country and 1,400 more are diagnosed with this deadly disease every year.”

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