September 14, 2009

Feds consider HPV vaccine for males

U.S. officials say they're considering approving male use of the HPV vaccine that females have been taking since 2006.

The Food and Drug Administration advisory committee has recommended males 9 to 26 get Gardasil, a vaccine against the human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted

disease that can cause genital warts and cervical cancer, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

The FDA is expected to decide on the recommendation by year's end.

The vaccine was first used for girls and young women in the United States in the prevention of the four major strains of HPV causing genital warts and cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers.

Merck & Co. Inc., the drug's manufacturer, said HPV vaccinations for males would reduce cases of genital warts.

The vaccine, typically administered in a three-shot series over six-months, costs around $375.

More insurance plans have begun covering the cost of the vaccine over the past few years, said James Peterson, a family doctor in Salt Lake City.