Beverly J. Lybrand, Merck Vaccines

By now, you’ve probably heard the heated arguments for and against Merck’s introduction last year of Gardasil-the first, and so far only, vaccine that protects women against the human papillomavirus (HPV), a surprisingly common sexually transmitted disease that is the leading cause of cervical cancer in women. An April op-ed in the Detroit News, for instance, charged that the vaccine promotes promiscuity and “devalues personal morals.” Meanwhile, an editorial in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune in March called Gardasil a “wonder drug” and marveled that it could possibly prevent a cancer.