Objectives: A vaccine to prevent diseases due to human papillomavirus (HPV) types 6, 11, 16, and 18 is now available in France. The objective of this study was to assess the health and economic impact in France of implementing a quadrivalent HPV vaccine alongside existing screening practices versus screening alone.
Methods: A Markov model of the natural history of HPV infection incorporating screening and vaccination, was adapted to the French context. A vaccine that would prevent 100 percent of HPV 6, 11, 16, and 18-associated diseases, with lifetime duration and 80 percent coverage, given to girls at age 14 in conjunction with current screening was compared with screening alone. Results were analyzed from both a direct healthcare cost perspective (DCP) and a third-party payer perspective (TPP). Indirect costs such as productivity loss were not taken into account in this analysis.
Results: The incremental cost per life-year gained from vaccination was €12,429 (TPP) and €20,455 (DCP). The incremental cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) for the introduction of HPV vaccination alongside the French cervical cancer screening program was €8,408 (TPP) and €13,809 (DCP). Sensitivity analyses demonstrated that cost-effectiveness was stable, but was most sensitive to the discount rate used for costs and benefits.
Conclusions: Considering the commonly accepted threshold of €50,000 per QALY, these analyses support the fact that adding a quadrivalent HPV vaccine to the current screening program in France is a cost-effective strategy for reducing the burden of cervical cancer, precancerous lesions, and genital warts caused by HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18.