Effectiveness and Cost-effectiveness of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccines in Cervical Cancer Prophylaxis

Wai Yee CHAN, Kai Chee CHEUNG


Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the main cause of cervical cancer. Cervical cancer patients go through painful long-term treatments and high medical costs. Prevention is better than cure. Hence, regular cervical screening is recommended for Hong Kong women to prevent this disease. Some studies have been conducted in Western countries to show that cost-effectiveness can be achieved by combining HPV vaccines with regular screening. The study is guided by three research groups on the future implication of the cost-effectiveness of three cervical cancer prevention strategies: (1) annual Pap smear for women aged 25–42, (2) HPV vaccination at age 12, and (3) HPV vaccination at age 12 combined with annual Pap smear screening at age 25–42. The three groups are compared in terms of their total lifetime cost, cost-effectiveness ratio and incremental life expectancy. The Markov model software is used as the main analytical tool. After analyzing, annual Pap smear screening is a cost-effective method to prevent cervical cancer that the total lifetime cost was approximately USD145.69; cost-effectiveness ratio was USD8.80/DALY; and incremental life expectancy was 2.72 years. Moreover, HPV vaccination combined with annual Pap smear screening is an effective way to prolong the life expectancy of women regardless of race that the total lifetime cost was approximately USD545.12; cost-effectiveness ratio was USD29.56/DALY; and incremental life expectancy was 2.84 years. Such result provides important insight for the formulation of a health care policy to prevent cervical cancer. This policy can save lives and reduce local treatment costs.


HPV vaccine, Cervical cancer, Cervical screening, Cost-effectiveness analysis

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