Cost-Effectiveness of HPV Vaccination in the Prevention of Cervical Cancer in Malaysia


Introduction: Cervical cancers (CC) demonstrate the second highest incidence of female cancers in Malaysia.The costs of chronic management have a high impact on nation’s health cost and patient’s quality of life that canbe avoided by better screening and HPV vaccination. Methodology: Respondents were interviewed from sixpublic Gynecology-Oncology hospitals. Methods include experts’ panel discussions to estimate treatment costsby severity and direct interviews with respondents using costing and SF-36 quality of life (QOL) questionnaires.Three options were compared i.e. screening via Pap smear; quadrivalent HPV Vaccination and combined strategy(screening plus vaccination). Scenario based sensitivity analysis using screening population coverage (40-80%)and costs of vaccine (RM 300-400/dose) were calculated.
Results: 502 cervical pre invasive and invasive cervicalcancer (ICC) patients participated in the study. Mean age was 53.3 ± 11.21 years, educated till secondary level(39.39%), Malays (44.19%) and married for 27.73 ± 12.12 years. Life expectancy gained from vaccination is13.04 years and average Quality Adjusted Life Years saved (QALYs) is 24.4 in vaccinated vs 6.29 in unvaccinated.Cost/QALYs for Pap smear at base case is RM 1,214.96/QALYs and RM 1,100.01 at increased screening coverage;for HPV Vaccination base case is at RM 35,346.79 and RM 46,530.08 when vaccination price is higher. Incombined strategy, base case is RM 11,289.58; RM 7,712.74 at best case and RM 14,590.37 at worst case scenario.Incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) showed that screening at 70% coverage or higher is highly costeffective at RM 946.74 per QALYs saved and this is followed by combined strategy at RM 35,346.67 per QALYssaved.
Conclusion: Vaccination increase life expectancy with better QOL of women when cancer can be avoided.Cost effective strategies will include increasing the Pap smear coverage to 70% or higher. Since feasibility andlong term screening adherence is doubtful among Malaysian women, vaccination of young women is a more costeffective strategy against cervical cancers.