Objective: Infection with human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a necessary cause of cervical cancer (CC) and genital warts (GW). HPV vaccination studies have shown excellent efficacy against HPV-induced lesions. To assess the cost-effectiveness of a HPV quadrivalent (6, 11, 16 and 18) vaccine it is necessary to estimate the costs of managing current levels of HPV-related diseases. This study estimates the annual 2003 expenditures in the UK for CC screening, follow-up of abnormal findings, CC treatment and GW treatment.
Design and methods: CC screening programmes provided the annual number of screening tests, their results and use of colposcopy procedures in women with abnormal findings. Incident CC cases and hospital admissions for CC in 2003 were used to estimate CC costs. Health Protection Agency data provided the annual number of new, recurrent or persistent cases of GW treated in Genitourinary Medicine (GUM) clinics. Treatment patterns for managing GW were estimated by GUM clinicians. The annual physician visits, tests, procedures, hospital admissions and topical genital wart medications were costed to estimate the total annual expenditures for CC and GW.
Results: There were 4.8 million screening tests and 230 303 colposcopy procedures. Estimated costs for screening, management of abnormal and inadequate findings were 138.5 million pounds sterlings. Annual management costs for incident and prevalent CC cases were 46.8 million pounds sterlings. There were an estimated 76 457 incident and 55 657 recurrent/persistent GW cases in 2003. The costs for managing these cases were approximately 22.4 million pounds sterlings. Total annual estimated costs for CC screening, management and treatment of GW were 208 million pounds sterlings and ranged from 186.9 pounds sterlings to 214 million pounds sterlings based upon sensitivity analyses.
Conclusions: The direct medical costs for the NHS associated with detection and management of CC, cervical dysplasia and treatment of GW in the UK are substantial. These medical costs are invaluable for future cost-effectiveness analyses of a quadrivalent HPV vaccine programme.