The increase in the cost of supplying MSD Korea with Gardasil 9, a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer, has met with resistance not only from the medical community but also from the general public.
On March 29, an Internet user filed a petition on the Cheong Wa Dae petition website, objecting to the increase in Gardasil 9 prices and demanding a vaccine fee.
In early March, MSD Korea announced that it would raise the prices of three vaccines and set a one-month notice period for sending letters to hospitals and updating information with representatives of drug sales.
The three vaccines with planned price increases are Gardasil and Gardasil 9, HPV vaccines against cervical cancer, and RotaTeq, a vaccine to prevent rotavirus-induced gastroenteritis.
MSD Korea plans to raise the prices of Gardasil and Gardasil 9 by 15 percent and RotaTeq by 17 percent.
The company said the rise in prices was inevitable due to the steady rise in the cost of vaccine production and quality control. However, clinics and hospitals complain because they have to tell consumers to pay more for vaccinations.
Some hospitals largely ordered MSD vaccines before prices began to rise.
In general, the vaccine company determines the average amount of vaccines for each hospital and clinic and distributes them accordingly. However, some clinics and hospitals found out about the price increase plan and ordered MSD vaccines in large quantities.
A representative of the drug sales in MSD said that the owner of the clinic visited the company in order to deal with unfair trade, accompanying the lawyer.
As a confusion in hospitals, the Korean Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (KAOG) criticized the unanimous increase in the prices of MSD Korea vaccines.
In April, consumers began paying higher prices for MSD vaccines, and one of them filed a national petition.
“Gardasil is one of the few injections that can prevent cancers such as cervical, vaginal and anal cancer. Not only women but men should be immunized, ”the applicant said.
Gardasil 9 costs about 150,000-200,000 won ($ 133-179) per injection, and since three injections are needed for vaccination, vaccination vaccinates about 450,000-600,000 won.
The applicant said a 15 per cent increase in April meant patients had to pay 500,000 – 700,000 win for Gardasil 9, which made no sense. “I am opposed to the increase in the price of Gardasil 9 injection and demand vaccine insurance fees,” the applicant said.
The petition has garnered 12,000 votes from internet users since Thursday.
Aware of public sentiment, MSD Korea said he is aware of the petition for the presidency amid growing awareness of HPV-related diseases, such as cervical cancer and the need for HPV vaccines.
As for KAOG’s call for a price increase “unanimous notice”, MSD Korea said it was sorry that doctors could not get enough explanations about the increase in the price of Gardasil. “Doctors certainly felt uncomfortable because the prices of Gardasil and Gardasil 9 had risen for the first time since they arrived in Korea,” the company said.
“Since the announcement of the price increase, we have been making every effort to reduce the inconvenience for doctors and consumers. We will continue to strive to prevent confusion in hospitals, ”it added.