HPV Vaccination of Males Not Cost-Effective

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    October 12, 2009 Vaccinating boys against human papillomavirus (HPV) in addition to girls is not likely to be cost-effective, conclude a new analysis and an accompanying editorial published online October 8 in the British Medical Journal.

    In the United States, this use of Gardasil i.e., vaccinating boys to protect against genital warts was recently recommended for approval by a US Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committee, as reported by Medscape Oncology.
    However, the new analysis concludes that "including boys in an HPV vaccination program is unlikely to provide good value for resources, compared with vaccinating girls only.
    Free registration to read article: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/...ne&uac=87363SX
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  4. 23 Comments so far...

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    I didn't read the article so forgive me if this is covered, but 70% of the population has HPV. How can it not be cost-effective if you figure that males are the ones passing to females? Cervical cancer screenings through pap smears is certainly not cost-effective and we do that because early detection of cervical cancer saves lives. Why not primary prevention through vaccines?
    sharpeimom, emmalou*, and hiddencatRN like this.
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    2nd CEG. There's no way to test men (as far as I know) so immunizing them seems like an extra (needed) step to protecting women from cervical cancer. And with many people not interested in vaccinating for HPV in the first place, are we really in any danger of running out of supplies by "wasting" it on the guys?
    lizmatt and sharpeimom like this.
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    The study was looking at cost benefit. By their analysis it's more cost effective to concentrate efforts on vaccinating the girls.

    "Only under the most favorable assumptions for the benefits of adding male HPV vaccination to female vaccination did the cost fall below $100,000 per QALY [quality of life-year], the threshold below which an intervention is considered a good economic investment," the editorialist explain.
    Under no scenario did the cost of including males in HPV vaccination programs fall below $50,000 per QALY, which is perhaps a "more fiscally responsible threshold, given the need to lower healthcare costs and increase efficiency," they add.
    "By comparison, HPV vaccination of 12-year-old girls was always a good health investment," whatever the modeling, the editorial notes.
    It's true that either gender can pass this virus and if I were young and single I'd certainly want the vaccine. They're just looking at cost/benefit. In males it's relatively easy to spot as genital warts.
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    Quote from azhiker96
    It's true that either gender can pass this virus and if I were young and single I'd certainly want the vaccine. They're just looking at cost/benefit. In males it's relatively easy to spot as genital warts.
    The strains that cause cervical cancer don't cause genital warts, and genital warts can be visible externally on women too.
    Teresag_CNS likes this.
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    I am all for vaccinating males. HPV is a very common illness often without symptoms. Vaccinating boys will prevent this disease from being spread, hopefully eradicating it for the future.
    lizmatt, PeachPie, and sharpeimom like this.
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    If the entire female population were vaccinated, and everyone were heterosexual, it wouldn't be necessary to vaccinate the boys to protect the girls.

    Boys and men who have same-sex intercourse are at risk for anal and throat cancer.
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    This can happen to women too.
    sharpeimom likes this.
  12. 3
    Quote from birdgardner
    If the entire female population were vaccinated, and everyone were heterosexual, it wouldn't be necessary to vaccinate the boys to protect the girls.

    Boys and men who have same-sex intercourse are at risk for anal and throat cancer.
    If the entire male population were vaccinated and everyone were heterosexual it wouldn't be necessary to vaccinate the girls against the disease that they were getting from the boys in the first place.

    But not everyone is heterosexual, not everyone has only vaginal-penile intercourse, and not everyone gets vaccinated. I don't see how it is less cost effective to vaccinate a male who has the potential to spread HPV to multiple partners.
    Kringe38, MikeyBSN, and hiddencatRN like this.
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    There could be political motives behind backing or using studies like this. They determine that not vaccinating men is not "cost effective". Then, the poorer women who have not been vaccinated due to lack of opportunity would have a greater risk of becoming infected. Also, this would do nothing to stop the spread of the disease among gay males. That way, the conservative movement now has another "gay" and "poor" disease to use in their arsenal.
    dreamon, DolceVita, and Teresag_CNS like this.


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