Cervical cancer vaccine, a world-first vaccine which has been shown to prevent 70 per cent of cervical cancers has been removed from the national immunisation program, according to reports from Labor today.
The government's pharmaceutical advisory body has rejected an application today from Australian manufacturer CSL to make the vaccine Gardasil freely available to all females between ages 12 and 26.
Gardasil, the vaccine designed in Australia halts the spread of sexually-transmitted human papilloma virus (HPV), which causes 70 per cent of cervical cancer.
The NSW Cancer Council has estimated that around 700 Australian women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year causing about 270 deaths.
Although the vaccine has been on the market for two months it costs $460 for patients to take the recommended three doses.
Only last week the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) considered a subsidy for the drug at its regular meeting in Canberra.
CSL and Professor Ian Frazer, who was named Australian of the Year 2006 for designing the vaccine, have been informed today it had been knocked back due to its high price.