Gardasil® now available in 13 European countries; first recommendation and reimbursements awarded

sanofi-aventis and Merck & Co., Inc. to support Sanofi Pasteur MSD in the launch of Gardasil®

Maidenhead, 20 December 2006 – Three months after gaining a license in the European Union, Gardasil® is rapidly becoming available across Europe and is now available in 13 European countries. Cervical cancer vaccination has just become part of the Austrian national vaccination programme and three large German statutory health insurance funds, which together cover almost half of the German population, have announced immediate and full reimbursement of cervical cancer vaccination. Accelerated discussions are now under way in many European countries as to how to integrate cervical cancer vaccination in each country's recommendation and reimbursement programme.  Gardasil® is the first ever and the only licensed cervical cancer vaccine worldwide, filed in 120 countries and approved in almost 50 countries, including the European Union, the United States, Canada and Australia.

"Gardasil® gained approval in the EU in just nine months, which is testament to the strength of the clinical data, on which our dossier was based, and to the significance of Gardasil® for women’s health", said Didier Hoch, President of Sanofi Pasteur MSD. "With 33,500 women diagnosed with cervical cancer and 15,000 dying each year in Europe despite screening for early detection, there is an urgent need to make this vaccine fully available as soon as possible.  By adding vaccination to screening we complete and dramatically improve the fight against cervical cancer. National health authorities seem to consider cervical cancer vaccination also to be a top priority for public health."

Contact:

For further information or to speak with an expert, please contact Red Door Communications:

Rose Lockett rlockett@rdcomms.com (t) 020 8392 8091
Jo Webb
jwebb@rdcomms.com (t) 020 8392 8041

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