Cervical cancer vaccine is approved in SA

March 13, 2008

Cervical cancer vaccine is approved in SA

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

A cervical cancer vaccine has been given the go-ahead for use in South Africa, a pharmaceutical company said on Tuesday.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) said the vaccine had been approved and registered by the Medicines Control Council.

In South Africa, a woman’s risk of developing cervical cancer in her lifetime, was one in 26, said GSK medical director Navin Singh. An estimated 6 700 South African women develop cervical cancer every year.

"The decision to approve GSK’s cervical cancer vaccine represents a great step forward for all South African women, said Singh.

The vaccine is a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine indicated for the prevention of pre-cancerous cervical lesions associated with the most common cervical cancer-causing HPV types 16 and 18.

It is designed to enhance the immune response and increase the duration of protection against cancer-causing virus types.

The vaccine is currently registered and in use in more than 50 countries across Europe, Australasia and South America.

The vaccine will be made available through general practitioners, gynaecologists and pharmacists as a prescription medication. However the protection strategies against cervical cancer should include routine screening together with a vaccine.

The vaccine can be taken by woman as early as age 10.

The price of the vaccine is approximately R700.

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