Who Should Get HPV Vaccine and When?
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|Tue, 06-15-2010 - 11:05am|
I found a number of fabulous quotes in here.... ironically, nothing different than what's been being said for years....
The Fast Track
The author of a new study of the HPV vaccine discusses its cost-effectiveness and the conflicting information about who should get it and when.
Should governments and school systems require girls and young women to get the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which helps prevent cervical cancer? A new study in the Aug. 21 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), examining the cost-effectiveness of the vaccine for 12-year-old girls versus young women, is adding fuel to the debate.
Pharmaceutical company Merck got FDA approval in June 2006 to market the vaccine, Gardasil, to females ages 9 to 26. Millions of girls have been vaccinated since then, but not without controversy over the idea of immunizing young girls against a virus that is sexually transmitted. (The vaccine protects against the two types of HPV that cause 70 percent of cervical cancer worldwide, and against forms of the virus that cause 90 percent of genital warts in both men and women.) Another point of contention has been the vaccine's cost--about $360 for three shots taken over six months. This week's NEJM report indicates that the vaccine appeared to be cost-effective for 12-year-olds, assuming that immunity doesn't wane after 10 years; in that case, a booster shot would be required. It also found that "catch-up" programs for 20-somethings may be too expensive.
NOTE: It is not known even at the age of 22 (assuming a 12 y/o girl got a vaccine and 10 years lapsed) whether it would be cost-effective or not considering the average age of a woman being diagnosed in the US is 54 (30 years later).