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Release of a statement criticizing an HPV JAPAN appeal


On March 31, 2015, HPV JAPAN issued an appeal to reinstate an active recommendation of the HPV vaccine. The appeal expresses skepticism towards causal link between adverse events and the HPV vaccinations and criticizes press reports on such adverse events.

However, HPV JAPAN’s appeal is not only based on misunderstandings of scientific causal links. It also ignores the lessons learned from past drug-induced scandals such as Thalidomide, SMON and drug-induced HIV. Until any causal link is proved negative, regulatory authorities should handle things positively and take safety measures to prevent any drug-related health problems.

HPV JAPAN’s appeal also contains inaccurate and misleading descriptions.
For example, although the death rate from cervical cancer in Japan is the same level as that of the US and UK, the appeal states that the situation in Japan is tragic as the death rate from cervical cancer is two times that of the US and UK.
It also doesn't say that the HPV vaccine has a limited effect. For example, there is no proof that the vaccine prevents cervical cancer.

Furthermore, the appeal even goes on to say that admitting any causal link between adverse events and the HPV vaccination is the same as saying that "passing a university entrance exam after receiving an HPV vaccination is entirely due to the vaccination."
This analogy is dishonorable and hurts victims who are unable to go to school and must abandon any hope of attending university.

What's also extremely troubling about the appeal is that it's been signed by doctors who are members of medical institutions designated by the MHLW to treat victims of the HPV vaccination.

What is HPV JAPAN?
We suspect that there is a relationship between HPV JAPAN and The Japanese Expert Board for the Eradication of Cervical Cancer, which has received huge donations from HPV vaccine manufacturers GSK and MSD. We believe this because the phone number of HPV JAPAN and The Japanese Expert Board for the Eradication of Cervical Cancer office is the same, and those promoting HPV JAPAN are core members of the Expert Board.

In July 2014, we issued an open letter asking about any conflict of interest at the Expert Board, but received no answer to our question.
The facts that we gathered indicate a high possibility that the Expert Board's activities are in fact forms of advertising conducted by vaccine companies.

We therefore filed a complaint with The Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (JPMA) over the violation of the Promotion Code that prohibits disguised promotion.

The problems with HPV JAPAN's appeal were mentioned in a question by the Committee of Health, Welfare and Labour in the House of Representatives.

Please refer to our following statement for more information.