Gardasil Researcher Speaks Out – CBS News, lead works.#Lead #works


Gardasil Researcher Speaks Out

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Dr. Diane Harper says young girls and their parents should receive more complete warnings before receiving the vaccine to prevent cervical cancer. Dr. Harper helped design and carry out the Phase II and Phase III safety and effectiveness studies to get Gardasil approved, and authored many of the published, scholarly papers about it. She has been a paid speaker and consultant to Merck. It’s highly unusual for a researcher to publicly criticize a medicine or vaccine she helped get approved.

Dr. Harper joins a number of consumer watchdogs, vaccine safety advocates, and parents who question the vaccine’s risk-versus-benefit profile. She says data available for Gardasil shows that it lasts five years; there is no data showing that it remains effective beyond five years.

This raises questions about the CDC’s recommendation that the series of shots be given to girls as young as 11-years old. “If we vaccinate 11 year olds and the protection doesn’t last. we’ve put them at harm from side effects, small but real, for no benefit,” says Dr. Harper. “The benefit to public health is nothing, there is no reduction in cervical cancers, they are just postponed, unless the protection lasts for at least 15 years, and over 70% of all sexually active females of all ages are vaccinated.” She also says that enough serious side effects have been reported after Gardasil use that the vaccine could prove riskier than the cervical cancer it purports to prevent. Cervical cancer is usually entirely curable when detected early through normal Pap screenings.

Dr. Scott Ratner and his wife, who’s also a physician, expressed similar concerns as Dr. Harper in an interview with CBS News last year. One of their teenage daughters became severely ill after her first dose of Gardasil. Dr. Ratner says she’d have been better off getting cervical cancer than the vaccination. “My daughter went from a varsity lacrosse player at Choate to a chronically ill, steroid-dependent patient with autoimmune myofasciitis. I’ve had to ask myself why I let my eldest of three daughters get an unproven vaccine against a few strains of a nonlethal virus that can be dealt with in more effective ways.”

Merck and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintain Gardasil is safe and effective, and that adequate warnings are provided, cautioning about soreness at the injection site and risk of fainting after vaccination. A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found while the overall risk of side effects appears to be comparable to other vaccines, Gardasil has a higher incidence of blood clots reported. Merck says it continues to have confidence in Gardasil’s safety profile. Merck also says it’s looking into cases of ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, reported after vaccination. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Merck and the CDC say there is currently no evidence that Gardasil caused ALS in the cases reported. Merck is also monitoring the number of deaths reported after Gardasil: at least 32. Merck and CDC says it’s unclear whether the deaths were related to the vaccine, and that just because patients died after the shots doesn’t mean the shots were necessarily to blame.

According to Dr. Harper, assessing the true adverse event risk of Gardasil, and comparing it to the risk of cervical cancer can be tricky and complex. “The number of women who die from cervical cancer in the US every year is small but real. It is small because of the success of the Pap screening program.”

“The risks of serious adverse events including death reported after Gardasil use in (the JAMA article by CDC’s Dr. Barbara Slade) were 3.4/100,000 doses distributed. The rate of serious adverse events on par with the death rate of cervical cancer. Gardasil has been associated with at least as many serious adverse events as there are deaths from cervical cancer developing each year. Indeed, the risks of vaccination are underreported in Slade’s article, as they are based on a denominator of doses distributed from Merck’s warehouse. Up to a third of those doses may be in refrigerators waiting to be dispensed as the autumn onslaught of vaccine messages is sent home to parents the first day of school. Should the denominator in Dr. Slade’s work be adjusted to account for this, and then divided by three for the number of women who would receive all three doses, the incidence rate of serious adverse events increases up to five fold. How does a parent value that information,” said Harper.

Dr. Harper agrees with Merck and the CDC that Gardasil is safe for most girls and women. But she says the side effects reported so far call for more complete disclosure to patients. She says they should be told that protection from the vaccination might not last long enough to provide a cancer protection benefit, and that its risks – “small but real” – could occur more often than the cervical cancer itself would.

“Parents and women must know that deaths occurred. Not all deaths that have been reported were represented in Dr. Slade’s work, one-third of the death reports were unavailable to the CDC, leaving the parents of the deceased teenagers in despair that the CDC is ignoring the very rare but real occurrences that need not have happened if parents were given information stating that there are real, but small risks of death surrounding the administration of Gardasil.”

She also worries that Merck’s aggressive marketing of the vaccine may have given women a false sense of security. “The future expectations women hold because they have received free doses of Gardasil purchased by philanthropic foundations, by public health agencies or covered by insurance is the true threat to cervical cancer in the future. Should women stop Pap screening after vaccination, the cervical cancer rate will actually increase per year. Should women believe this is preventive for all cancers – something never stated, but often inferred by many in the population– a reduction in all health care will compound our current health crisis. Should Gardasil not be effective for more than 15 years, the most costly public health experiment in cancer control will have failed miserably.”

CDC continues to recommend Gardasil for girls and young women. The agency says the vaccine’s benefits outweigh its risks and that it is an important tool in fighting a serious cancer.

Dr. Harper says the risk-benefit analysis for Gardasil in other countries may shape up differently than what she believes is true in the US. “Of course, in developing countries where there is no safety Pap screening for women repeatedly over their lifetimes, the risks of serious adverse events may be acceptable as the incidence rate of cervical cancer is five to 12 times higher than in the US, dwarfing the risk of death reported after Gardasil.”

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    A few weeks ago I was talking to Maureen Blandford about marketers, marketing technology, and the need for all of us to move faster.

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    It is that time of year again. The time when predictions of the obvious abound and resolutions are quickly broken.

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    One 26-Year-Old s 5-Year Millionaire Lead Generation Plan

    Most people would tell you a 26-year-old doesn t have enough life experience to devise a lead generation plan that will make him a millionaire within 5 years. But Tim Heyl is no ordinary 26-year-old.

    Tim Heyl s First Year In Real Estate

    Tim Heyl had to borrow the fee to enroll in BOLD from his sister. That s a nice sister. Five years later, however, he has 13 members on his team, does $1.4 million in GCI, and had a total volume of $53 million!

    He started his real estate business fresh out of college. He enrolled in the KW MAPS Coaching BOLD program and learned about lead generation.

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    Lead management is the process by which marketing acquires, evaluates, nurtures and hands off leads to the sales team. Sounds simple enough, right?

    Many companies have no standards in place for properly managing leads, so weeding out genuine buyers from those just poking around is difficult and time-intensive. Sales departments often receive weak leads, wasting more time and ultimately detracting from revenue. In fact, according to Gleanster Research, only 25% of leads in a given sales pipeline are legitimate prospects.

    Companies can significantly improve their sales pipeline by developing lead management strategies that incorporate lead nurturing, lead scoring and marketing automation.

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    Sales and marketing teams often have conflicting views of what constitutes a “qualified lead.” For instance, a marketer might consider any contact that responds to a marketing campaign to be a “lead,” but a sales representative might only care about leads that are ready to buy.

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    Once lead criteria have been agreed upon, set up procedures and systems that enforce those criteria. Do leads that fit your criteria actually make a purchase? Ongoing measurement will allow you to use data to improve your definition of sales-ready leads over time.

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    Once you have defined a sales-ready lead, it’s time to nurture your lead pool to generate as many sales-ready leads as possible.

    Lead nurturing is the process of delivering targeted, personalized resources and offers to your entire lead funnel to move prospects through the buying process. We have found that companies with excellent lead nurturing programs generate50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost.

    How does a company nurture leads until they’re ready to buy?

    First, determine your prospects’ unique preferences. What topics interest them the most? What challenges are they wrestling with today? Do they respond better to emails, social media, webinars, or a mix of communication methods? Carefully evaluate which topics draw the most attention from individual prospects. An automated lead management tool will help track your customers’ likes and dislikes to coordinate the sophisticated communication strategy that lead nurturing requires.

    The most important characteristic of effective lead nurturing campaigns is to consistently deliver highly valuable, relevant (and branded) content.

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    For a checklist of important things to know when it comes to lead nurturing, check out Marketo’s Lead Nurturing Cheat Sheet .

    Improve Lead Management with Lead Scoring

    Many businesses realize success by incorporating scoring methodologies into lead management, with the end goal of prioritizing leads for sales teams. According to a Customer Think survey, “Sixty-five percent of best-in-class companies define execute multi-step lead nurturing processes, and 59 percent of these same organizations (vs. an industry average of 25 percent) utilize lead scoring to progress leads over time.”

    Why is lead scoring so effective?By tracking your prospect’s behaviors and web activity, you determine not only their level of interest in your solution, but also your interest in them. This information will help your sales team spend their time on the leads that matter.

    Any effective lead scoring model should take into account all available data including demographics and behaviors. Use this data to define lead scoring thresholds that indicate whether a prospect is “qualified but still nurturing” or a true “sales-ready lead.”

    More and more companies choose to invest in scoring technology to reduce the time and hassle of manually sorting through leads. Lead scoring software automatically assess opportunities and passes them on to sales the instant they are deemed sales-ready.

    For a checklist of more than 250 B2B scoring rules, don’t miss The Big List of Lead Scoring Rules. And of course don’t forget the Definitive Guide to Lead Scoring .

    Utilize Lead Management Software

    According to an Aberdeen study. 71% of surveyed best-in-class companies said they utilized lead management technology. Automated lead management tools help companies monitor prospect behavior and engage in timely, individualized interactions more likely to generate revenue.

    One of the biggest reasons companies leverage the power of technology for managing leads is the sheer volume. Managing thousands or even millions of leads at a time is an overwhelming task for nearly any organization. The best solution is to software-driven automation rules capable of processing leads at lightning speed, while also introducing best practices to ensure win-ready opportunities are quickly identified and sent to sales.

    Automation also enhances the quality of customer data by removing duplicates or merging customer data from disparate sources. This important functionality provides sales with a clean, up-to-date list to work with in order to help you win more business, faster.

    We might be biased, but here’s some awesome lead management software to look into.

    Measure Your Lead Management Efforts

    Once you hammer down all the processes involved inacquiring and managing your leads, it’s time to evaluate your performance. Begin by assessing vital areas: the cost of acquiring or nurturing a lead, which marketing campaigns brought in the most prospects, and how long it took to convert leads to actual sales, among others. Tracking these types of metrics gives you insight into the efficiency and effectiveness of your lead management practices. It also provides perspective on how your marketing efforts are impacting your pipeline and your bottom line.

    By consistently monitoring the performance of your lead management activities, you will identify weaker activities and weed them out. You can also pinpoint those marketing activities which draw in the most business to create a culture of continuous optimization.

    “Marketo drives our entire revenue cycle management process, and takes lead management from generation to close. Without Marketo, we’d miss out on 30% of the opportunities that the company creates.” – Guy Goldstein, Online Marketing Manager, ARX [Source ]

    Conclusion: A Strategic Approach to Managing Leads

    Having a strategic method in place for lead management is vital to the success of any marketing effort, and for ensuring that sales have “qualified leads” (and lots of them!). When done correctly, lead management creates more-educated buyers, helps you better understand their needs and, ultimately, generates more revenue, faster.

    “Marketo is very user friendly—it really just makes sense if your job is to deliver either e-mail marketing or manage leads—it speaks the language that we marketers speak every day.” – Kristen Petersen, Director of Marketing Operations, F5 Networks [Source ]

    Additional Resources: