GlaxoSmithKline, Merck face HPV writs. Sacrificial Virgins III
• New film reports that manufacturers of Gardasil and Cervarix face court writs for damages
• Actions and class actions threatened in Japan, Americas and Europe
• Australian doctors threatened with legal action alleging negligent prescribing
October 19, 2017, LONDON, UK. Press Dispensary.
Manufacturers of the controversial HPV vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix - routinely administered worldwide despite widespread calls for withdrawal on safety grounds - will soon be sued in courts across the globe. The topical film A penny for your pain
, launched today on YouTube
, describes how patients as far apart as Japan and Colombia are set to sue pharmaceutical giants Merck and GlaxoSmithKline for damages, following serious adverse reactions, with patient groups in the US, UK and Spain closely following the cases and Australian legal attention focused on prescribing doctors.
In A penny for your pain, eminent Japanese neurologist Dr Hirokuni Beppu says: "At present about 120 persons are making law suits against pharmaceutical companies. It is now going on in eight cities in Japan and other additional people are also thinking to start." This follows a 2013 decision by the government of Japan that "cervical cancer vaccinations should no longer be recommended for girls aged 12 to 16" because of the level of serious adverse reactions recorded in Japan.
The film also reports how, earlier this year, a Spanish high court established a causal link between the HPV vaccine and the 2012 death of a young girl after her second dose of the vaccine, and how a class action is now being prepared in Colombia on behalf of 400 HPV vaccine patients.
A penny for your pain is the third film in the YouTube trilogy Sacrificial Virgins, which examines whether the risks associated with childhood vaccination against the Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV, are justified by the claim that they significantly lower the threat of cervical cancer much later in life.
Through scientific analysis and examinations of adverse reactions data, as well as interviews with young women suffering severe neurological damage following treatment with Gardasil or Cervarix, the series reaches stark conclusions.
Series writer and narrator Joan Shenton says: "Sacrificial Virgins concludes that the risk of serious and even life-threatening adverse reaction is high - it's in a different league to any other mass-administered vaccine. Yet the supposed cancer benefits are unproven. There is no scientific basis for saying that, decades after mass vaccination, there will actually be a consequent reduction in cervical cancers. Indeed, there is no proof that HPV even causes these cervical cancers."
Dr Beppu adds: "HPV vaccine is useless because it has very low risk benefit balance."
Individual litigation and class action are the products of frustration felt by patients and patient groups worldwide (the World Health Organisation in 2017 has recorded almost 170,000 adverse reactions in 100 countries, including 280 deaths), who believe it is the only way to get pharmaceutical companies and health authorities to admit there is a problem.
Shenton concludes: "It's a reminder of other scandals, from Thalidomide in the 1960s to 21st century vaginal mesh implants, which led to a record $57m in damages being awarded in recent weeks*. For years, manufacturers will claim no problem exists until suddenly the courts find that it does. HPV vaccinations are heading towards that point."
The last word in A penny for your pain is left to Australian Kristin Clulow, injured following treatment in 2008: "I would like to say to them that what they are doing is unethical. They need to research their product - they need to take it off the market and research it - because what they are doing is hurting people … this is a permanent brain injury that I've had to live with for nine years."
- ends -
Notes for editors
* Vaginal mesh scandal: http://bit.ly/JJMeshScandal
Sacrificial Virgins is a series in three parts written and narrated by Joan Shenton and directed by Andi Reiss. It is a co-production between Meditel Productions and Yellow Entertainment.
Part one, titled Not for the Greater Good, is now live on YouTube at http://bit.ly/SV-NotGood .
Part two, titled Pain and suffering, focuses on two young British victims and a likely cause of the adverse reactions. It is live on YouTube at http://bit.ly/PD-SV2-English .
A 30 minute version of Sacrificial Virgins will be presented to international film festivals, starting later in the year.
Joan Shenton has extensive experience of producing and presenting television and radio programmes, including many peak time network documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4, Central TV, and Thames TV.
Joan Shenton's independent production company, Meditel Productions, has won seven television awards and was the first independent company ever to win a Royal Television Society Award for an episode of Channel 4's Dispatches. It has produced eight network documentaries for Channel 4, Sky News and M-Net, South Africa on the AIDS debate. "AIDS - The Unheard Voices" won the Royal Television Society Award for Current Affairs.
The HIV/AIDS documentary film, Positive Hell, has won a wide array of film festival awards since 2015, most recently the Special Jury Prize for Global Social Impact at the prestigious Queens World Film Festival in Queens, New York. Like Sacrificial Virgins, Positive Hell was written and narrated by Joan Shenton and directed by Andi Reiss, and is a co-production between Meditel Productions and Yellow Entertainment.
For further information, press previews and interviews please contact:
Joan Shenton, Sacrificial Virgins
Tel: US 011 44 79 57 58 55 15 / UK + 44 7957 585515
YouTube video: http://bit.ly/SV-PennyPain
YouTube playlist: http://bit.ly/SV-playlist