Maker of Gardasil seeks OK for boys

January 6, 2009 3:25:42 PM PST
Three years after getting the OK for young women, the maker of the Gardasil vaccine wants to expand its use.

Merck is asking federal regulators to approve its vaccine against the human papillomavirus for boys.

Gardasil prevents infection with the sexually transmitted virus, which causes cervical and other cancers.

The Food and Drug Administration approved use of Gardasil in females ages 9 to 26 years old in June 2006. But the FDA last June rejected expanding its use to include women ages 27 to 45. The vaccine has since been approved for use by young women in dozens of foreign countries.

The vaccine is one of the vaccines on the market, typically costing $360 for a three-dose regimen.