Seattle's PATH embroiled in HPV vaccine controversy in India

Jun 23, 2011

In 2009, Seattle-based PATH, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, launched a project aimed at combating cervical cancer in India by introducing the HPV vaccine.

The vaccine program didn’t work out as planned.

An article in Nature News this week — entitled Vaccines trial’s ethics criticized — describes the controversy involving PATH in some detail.

The sub-headline of the Nature article, “Collapsed trial fuels unfounded vaccine fears,” is perhaps a bit closer to capturing the essence of this tale. But you could also say it was actually the unfounded fears that caused the collapse, which continues to fuel allegations of unethical research.

The problem, Humanosphere writer Tom Paulson said, is that the scientific and medical community basically sat on the sidelines and hoped to avoid controversy instead of dealing with it head on.

Read the rest of Paulson’s analysis of the controversy on Humanosphere.