Researchers report the economic and health impacts of a vaccine against human papilloma virus (HPV) in the United States. In 2014, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Gardasil-9, an HPV vaccine that protects against 80% of cervical cancers, compared with 66% protection from vaccines currently in use, while costing $13 to $18 more per dose than existing vaccines.

David Durham and colleagues developed a model of HPV transmission and cervical cancer incidence to estimate the health and economic impacts of switching to Gardasil-9 in the United States. The authors found that at the national level switching to Gardasil-9 would reduce cancer incidence and mortality by 2050 to a greater extent than continuing to use existing vaccines. The expansion in coverage required to gain an equivalent health benefit from existing vaccines was estimated to cost nearly $3 billion more than the cost of switching to Gardasil-9.

Expanding vaccine coverage would avert the most cancers and deaths in states with the lowest existing coverage, and expanding coverage within a single state would avert a substantial number of cancers beyond that state's borders as a result of interstate migration. The results suggest that coordinating policies to promote expanded coverage and conversion to Gardasil-9 could maximize health benefits and cost savings, according to the authors.

Article #15-15528: "National- and state-level impact and cost-effectiveness of nonavalent HPV vaccination in the United States," by David P. Durham et al. To be published in PNAS the week of April 18.