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Study: Gardasil better value than Cervarix

Gardasil, the human papillomavirus vaccine developed by Sanofi and MSD, may be a more cost-effective option than GlaxoSmithKline's Cervarix in the UK according to a report

Gardasil, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine developed by Sanofi and MSD, may be a more cost-effective option than GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) Cervarix in the UK according to a report in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Data from the study suggest that Gardasil, which protects against the HPV strains that cause both genital warts and cervical cancer, may have an advantage over Cervarix, which protects only against cervical cancer, in reducing healthcare costs and quality of life years (QALYs) lost.

The Department of Health (DH) in England and Wales picked Cervarix as the cheaper option to offer young girls in the UK to protect against HPV in 2008.

The NHS list price indicates Cervarix costs £80.50 per dose, while Gardasil is £88.50 per dose.

The study measured incremental cost-effectiveness ratios in the UK for both vaccines, however, with results recommending that Cervarix would need to be £19 to £35 cheaper to match the cost-effectiveness of Gardasil.

In their conclusion, investigators commented that, although Gardasil may have an advantage in reducing healthcare costs, Cervarix may have an advantage in preventing death due to cancer.

There is 'considerable uncertainty' remaining about the differential benefit of the two vaccines, according to the study.

29th September 2011

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