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Sanofi supports Gardasil with disease awareness campaign

Published on 07/06/07 at 10:40am

Sanofi Pasteur MSD has launched an awareness campaign to encourage women to talk about cervical cancer, the human papillomavirus and the National Cervical Screening Programme.

The pharma company markets Gardasil, which was approved in Europe last September making it the first vaccine to prevent women developing cervical cancer.

A rival vaccine, GlaxoSmithKline's Cervarix is awaiting regulatory clearance  giving Sanofi a vital window of opportunity in which to establish its product.

Sanofi has enlisted television personality Carol Smillie to front the 'tellher' campaign, which aims to raise awareness of cervical cancer, that it is caused by a human papillmavirus, and encourages women to attend cervical screening to ensure early detection of abnormal cells.

The awareness campaign will involve magazine and newspaper advertising, public events, materials to help doctors educate patients about cervical cancer and the screening programme and a website - www.tellher.com.

The company said it was launching the campaign in response to concerns raised earlier this year that cervical screening attendance among young women in the UK is falling significantly and that more education is needed.

Recent research commissioned by Sanofi found that two thirds of women don't know that cervical cancer is caused by a virus and that over half of the women questioned were not aware cervical screening reduces the risk of getting cervical cancer.

The National Cervical Screening Programme in England invites all women between the ages of 25 and 64 for cervical screening at regular intervals and there are similar programmes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Pamela Morton, director of cervical cancer charity Jos Trust, said: "If more women understood the link between cervical cancer and human papillomavirus, they would be more likely to attend regular cervical screening tests.

"There is a real need for all women to take on board the message of the tellher campaign, knowledge about cervical cancer can save lives."

 

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