Cost-Effectiveness of Korea’s National Cervical Cancer Screening Program


Background: Cervical cancer, which is common in developing countries, is also a major health issue inKorea. Our aim was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of Korea’s National Cancer Screening Program (NCSP),implemented in 1999. Materials and
Methods: The target population was Korean women 30 years or over whowere invited to take part in the NCSP in 2002–2007. By merging NCSP records with Korean Central CancerRegistry data, patients diagnosed with cervical cancer who had been screened were assigned to a “screened group,”while patients diagnosed elsewhere were assigned to a “non-screened group.” Clinical outcomes were measuredin terms of life-years saved (LYS), derived from 5-year mortality rates supplied by the Korean National HealthInsurance Corporation and National Statistical Office. Direct and travel costs associated with screening wereevaluated from the perspective of the payer, the NCSP.
Results: A diagnosis via screening was associated with 2.30LYS, and the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) estimate for screening was 7,581,679 KW/LYS (6,727USD/LYS). ICER estimates were lower for older patients (≥ 50 years) than younger patients (4,047,033 KW/LYS vs 5,680,793 KW/LYS). The proportion of early-stage cancers detected was 16.3% higher in the screenedgroup.
Conclusions: In light of Korea’s per capita gross domestic product (32,272 USD in 2012), the currentNCSP’s incremental cost per LYS appears acceptable.