BACKGROUND: Human papillomavirus (HPV) plays a role in the development of benign and malign neoplasms in both sexes. The Italian recommendations for HPV vaccines consider only females. The BEST II study (Bayesian modelling to assess the Effectiveness of a vaccination Strategy to prevent HPV-related diseases) evaluates 1) the cost-effectiveness of immunization strategies targeting universal vaccination compared with cervical cancer screening and female-only vaccination and 2) the economic impact of immunization on various HPV-induced diseases.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to evaluate whether female-only vaccination or universal vaccination is the most cost-effective intervention against HPV.
METHODS: We present a dynamic Bayesian Markov model to investigate transmission dynamics in cohorts of females and males in a follow-up period of 55 years. We assumed that quadrivalent vaccination (against HPV 16, 18, 6, and 11) is available for 12-year-old individuals. The model accounts for the progression of subjects across HPV-induced health states (cervical, vaginal, vulvar, anal, penile, and head/neck cancer as well as anogenital warts). The sexual mixing is modeled on the basis of age-, sex-, and sexual behavioral-specific matrices to obtain the dynamic force of infection.
RESULTS: In comparison to cervical cancer screening, universal vaccination results in an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of 1,500. When universal immunization is compared with female-only vaccination, it is cost-effective with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of 11,600. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis shows a relatively large amount of parameter uncertainty, which interestingly has, however, no substantial impact on the decision-making process. The intervention being assessed seems to be associated with an attractive cost-effectiveness profile.
CONCLUSIONS: Universal HPV vaccination is found to be a cost-effective choice when compared with either cervical cancer screening or female-only vaccination within the Italian context.
- Dynamic Bayesian Methodology
- Papillomavirus Vaccination