Gardasil more cost-effective for teens, study finds

8/22/2008

NEW YORK A study published online in the New England Journal of Medicine Wednesday found that giving Merck’s human papillomavirus vaccine Gardasil to women in their mid-20s might be too expensive.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the vaccination for girls aged 11 and 12, as well as “catch-up” vaccinations for girls and women aged 13 to 26, and vaccinations should ideally take place before sexual activity.

The researchers, from the Harvard School of Public Health, suggested that the cost of Gardasil–$360 for a three-dose regimen–are more justified in pre-adolescent girls, partly due to the reduced likelihood that they have been exposed to the human papillomavirus, which causes genital warts. It becomes less cost-effective as the girls get older, however.

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