A new study published in Clinical Rheumatology exposes how vaccine manufacturers used phony placebos in clinical trials to conceal a wide range of devastating risks associated with HPV vaccines. Instead of using genuine inert placebos and comparing health impacts over a number of years, as is required for most new drug approvals, Merck and GlaxoSmithKline spiked their placebos with a neurotoxic aluminum adjuvant and cut observation periods to a matter of months.
Researchers from Mexico’s National Institute of Cardiology pored over 28 studies published through January 2017—16 randomized trials and 12 post-marketing case series—pertaining to the three human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines currently on the market globally. In their July 2017 peer-reviewed report, the authors, Manuel Martínez-Lavin and Luis Amezcua-Guerra, uncovered evidence of numerous adverse events, including life-threatening injuries, permanent disabilities, hospitalizations and deaths, reported after vaccination with GlaxoSmithKline’s bivalent Cervarix vaccine and Merck’s quadrivalent or nine-valent HPV vaccines (Gardasil and Gardasil 9). Pharmaceutical company scientists routinely dismissed, minimized or concealed those injuries using statistical gimmicks and invalid comparisonsdesigned to diminish their relative significance.
Of the 16 HPV vaccine randomized trials, only two used an inert saline placebo. Ten of the sixteen compared the HPV vaccine against a neurotoxicaluminum adjuvant, and four trials used an already-approved aluminum-containing vaccine as the comparison.
Scientific researchers view double-blind placebo trials as the gold standard for testing new drugs. To minimize bias, investigators randomly assign patients to either a “treatment” group or a “control” (placebo) group and then compare health outcomes. The standard practice is to compare a new drug against a “pharmacologically inert” placebo. To minimize opportunities for bias, neither patients nor researchers know which individuals received the drug and which the placebo. However, in clinical trials of the various HPV vaccines, pharmaceutical researchers avoided this kind of rigor and instead employed sleight-of-hand flimflams to mask the seriousness of vaccine injuries.