Costs and Cost-Effectiveness of 9-Valent Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination in Two East African Countries
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CitationKiatpongsan, Sorapop, and Jane J. Kim. 2014. “Costs and Cost-Effectiveness of 9-Valent Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination in Two East African Countries.” PLoS ONE 9 (9): e106836. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0106836. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0106836.
AbstractBackground: Current prophylactic vaccines against human papillomavirus (HPV) target two of the most oncogenic types, HPV-16 and -18, which contribute to roughly 70% of cervical cancers worldwide. Second-generation HPV vaccines include a 9-valent vaccine, which targets five additional oncogenic HPV types (i.e., 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58) that contribute to another 15–30% of cervical cancer cases. The objective of this study was to determine a range of vaccine costs for which the 9-valent vaccine would be cost-effective in comparison to the current vaccines in two less developed countries (i.e., Kenya and Uganda). Methods and Findings: The analysis was performed using a natural history disease simulation model of HPV and cervical cancer. The mathematical model simulates individual women from an early age and tracks health events and resource use as they transition through clinically-relevant health states over their lifetime. Epidemiological data on HPV prevalence and cancer incidence were used to adapt the model to Kenya and Uganda. Health benefit, or effectiveness, from HPV vaccination was measured in terms of life expectancy, and costs were measured in international dollars (I$). The incremental cost of the 9-valent vaccine included the added cost of the vaccine counterbalanced by costs averted from additional cancer cases prevented. All future costs and health benefits were discounted at an annual rate of 3% in the base case analysis. We conducted sensitivity analyses to investigate how infection with multiple HPV types, unidentifiable HPV types in cancer cases, and cross-protection against non-vaccine types could affect the potential cost range of the 9-valent vaccine. In the base case analysis in Kenya, we found that vaccination with the 9-valent vaccine was very cost-effective (i.e., had an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio below per-capita GDP), compared to the current vaccines provided the added cost of the 9-valent vaccine did not exceed I$9.7 per vaccinated girl. To be considered very cost-effective, the added cost per vaccinated girl could go up to I$5.2 and I$16.2 in the worst-case and best-case scenarios, respectively. At a willingness-to-pay threshold of three times per-capita GDP where the 9-valent vaccine would be considered cost-effective, the thresholds of added costs associated with the 9-valent vaccine were I$27.3, I$14.5 and I$45.3 per vaccinated girl for the base case, worst-case and best-case scenarios, respectively. In Uganda, vaccination with the 9-valent vaccine was very cost-effective when the added cost of the 9-valent vaccine did not exceed I$8.3 per vaccinated girl. To be considered very cost-effective, the added cost per vaccinated girl could go up to I$4.5 and I$13.7 in the worst-case and best-case scenarios, respectively. At a willingness-to-pay threshold of three times per-capita GDP, the thresholds of added costs associated with the 9-valent vaccine were I$23.4, I$12.6 and I$38.4 per vaccinated girl for the base case, worst-case and best-case scenarios, respectively. Conclusions: This study provides a threshold range of incremental costs associated with the 9-valent HPV vaccine that would make it a cost-effective intervention in comparison to currently available HPV vaccines in Kenya and Uganda. These prices represent a 71% and 61% increase over the price offered to the GAVI Alliance ($5 per dose) for the currently available 2- and 4-valent vaccines in Kenya and Uganda, respectively. Despite evidence of cost-effectiveness, critical challenges around affordability and feasibility of HPV vaccination and other competing needs in low-resource settings such as Kenya and Uganda remain.
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