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Vaccine could slash £17m genital wart cost


A suitable genital wart vaccine could slash the £17 million that the disease costs the NHS every year, experts said.

Cases of genital warts, which are the UK’s most commonly diagnosed viral sexually transmitted infection (STI), could be reduced if the government endorsed a vaccine.

The highest rates are seen among men between the ages of 20 and 24 and girls aged 16 to 19.

Over the past 40 years cases of the disease have increased sharply, with a quarter of all new STI diagnoses now made up of genital warts and herpes.

But a jab designed to protect against cervical cancer could help to reduce the number of genital wart cases, experts from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) said in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.

The current drug Cervarix can protect against cervical cancer but not warts.

In contrast, Gardasil prevents strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) which can lead to the cancer and genital warts.

The authors, writing in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections, concluded: “Genital warts exert a considerable impact on health services, a large proportion of which could be prevented through immunisation using the quadrivalent HPV vaccine.”




Readers' comments (4)

  • Another example of the shortsightedness of the governments' (D.O.H) choice in 2007/8 by choosing the cheaper option of Cerverix. I remember too well attending Sexual Health Conferences before the decision & Drs & Nurses in 'the trade' agreeing that Gardasil should be the vaccine of choice due to erradicating the wart viruses also, hence cutting the massive cost of treatment. Funny that at all Sexual Health conferences around that time,the Pharmaceutical companies advertising their usual ware, did not include GSK, the makers of Cerverix. Their absence was noticed & many of us cynically commented that perhaps the deal had already be done............

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  • BNF price Gardasil: £86.50 per inj
    BNF price Cervarix: £80.50 per inj.

    False economy...

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  • Apologies for my previous spelling error -Cervarix! & thanks for confirmation of the price Helen. What a difference 6 quid per vaccination ( okay £18 in total) would have made....................

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  • Both companies submitted tenders with vaccine cost much less than the BNF price. By deliberately undersetimating the cost of warts and RRP to the nhs advantages of Gardasil were easily off set by Cervarix cheaper tender. Most other developed countries choose gardasil. In australia they will have eradicated genital warts within a few years. Even Rwanda is getting Gardasil! Imagine that - within a few years teenage sexual health in a strife torn 3rd world country will be better that that in the UK.

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