On June 8, 2006, the FDA approved the vaccine Gardisil, which protects women from the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) that is linked to 99 percent of all cervical cancers. Immediately, forty-one state legislatures began entertaining initiatives that would make the vaccine mandatory for all fifth and sixth grade girls in public schools. HPV suddenly went from a non-issue to one that catapulted itself onto the public and political agenda. The vaccine's producer, Merck & Co., encouraged this flurry of activity through its marketing and lobbying efforts. This project seeks to understand the agenda setting and policy adoption processes associated with the HPV vaccine. The results indicate that despite the millions of dollars spent promoting its vaccine, Merck's attempts to influence policy actually decreased the likelihood of policy adoption.
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