Introduction: A universal, publicly funded, school-based human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination program in grade eight girls was initiated in Ontario in 2007. We present a cost-utility analysis of integrated cervical cancer prevention programs from the healthcare payer perspective.
Methods: Our analysis was based on linked HPV transmission and disease history models. We obtained data from the literature, provincial surveys and Ontario population-based linked health administrative datasets. We modeled combinations of vaccination and screening strategies. We considered vaccination based on the Ontario experience, as well as conservative and optimistic scenarios, varying coverage, vaccine effectiveness and duration of protection. We considered 900 screening scenarios (screening start age: 21-70 years, screening interval: 3-20 years; 1-year time steps). The current schedule screens every 3 years starting at age 21 years. We examined (1) first vaccinated cohort (low herd-immunity), and (2) steady state, i.e. all cohorts were vaccinated (high herd-immunity).
Results: Adding vaccination to the current screening schedule was cost-effective (<C$10,000/quality-adjusted life year (QALY)) across all scenarios. Delaying screening start and/or extending screening intervals increased both expected QALYs and cost, and increased overall NHB for screening schedules with a start age of 25-35 years and 3-10-year intervals for most scenarios.
Conclusion: Delaying screening start age and/or extending screening intervals in vaccinated cohorts is likely to be cost-effective. Consideration should be given to both the short- and long-term implications of health policy decisions, particularly for infectious disease interventions that require long time intervals to reach steady state.
Keywords: Cervical cancer; Cost-effectiveness analysis; Human papilloma virus; Screening; Vaccination.
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