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Sexual Health Sexual Health Society
Publishing on sexual health from the widest perspective

A brief history of economic evaluation for human papillomavirus vaccination policy

Philippe Beutels A B D and Mark Jit C

A Present address: Centre for Health Economics Research and Modeling Infectious Diseases (CHERMID), Vaccine & Infectious Disease Institute (VAXINFECTIO), University of Antwerp, Antwerp 2610, Belgium.

B School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

C Modelling and Economics Unit, Centre for Infections, Health Protection Agency, 61 Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5EQ, UK.

D Corresponding author. Email:

Sexual Health 7(3) 352-358
Submitted: 16 February 2010  Accepted: 28 May 2010   Published: 19 August 2010


Background: This commentary discusses key issues for health economic evaluation and modelling, applied to human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine programs. Methods: We outline some of the specific features of HPV disease and vaccination, and associated policy questions in light of a literature search for economic evaluations on HPV vaccination. Results: We observe that some policy questions could not be reliably addressed by many of the 43 published economic evaluations we found. Despite this, policy making on universal HPV vaccination followed shortly after vaccine licensure in many developed countries, so the role economic evaluation played in informing these decisions (pre-dating 2008) seems to have been fairly limited. For more recent decisions, however, economic evaluation is likely to have been used more widely and more intensively. Conclusions: We expect future cost-effectiveness analyses to be more instrumental in policy making regarding vaccines covering more HPV types, therapeutic HPV vaccines, and novel diagnostic tests for biomarkers of HPV infection and disease integrated with cervical screening programs.

Additional keywords: HPV, modelling, vaccine programs.


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