Open Access Open Badges Research article

Cost-effectiveness of adding vaccination with the AS04-adjuvanted human papillomavirus 16/18 vaccine to cervical cancer screening in Hungary

Zoltán Vokó123*, László Nagyjánosi2 and Zoltán Kaló12

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Health Policy & Health Economics, Institute of Economics, Faculty of Social Sciences, Eötvös Loránd University, 1117, Budapest, Pázmány Péter sétány 1/a, Hungary

2 Syreon Research Institute, 1146, Budapest, Thököly út, 119, Hungary

3 National Institute for Health Development, 1094, Budapest, Nagyvárad tér 2, Hungary

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BMC Public Health 2012, 12:924  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-924

Published: 30 October 2012



The cervical cancer screening program implemented in Hungary to date has not been successful. Along with screening, vaccination is an effective intervention to prevent cervical cancer. The aim of this study was to assess the cost-effectiveness of adding vaccination with the human papillomavirus 16/18 vaccine to the current cervical cancer screening program in Hungary.


We developed a cohort simulation state-transition Markov model to model the life course of 12-year-old girls. Eighty percent participation in the HPV vaccination program at 12 years of age was assumed. Transitional probabilities were estimated using data from the literature. Local data were used regarding screening participation rates, and the costs were estimated in US $. We applied the purchasing power parity exchange rate of 129 HUF/$ to the cost data. Only direct health care costs were considered. We used a 3.7% discount rate for both the cost and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). The time horizon was 88 years.


Inclusion of HPV vaccination at age 12 in the cervical cancer prevention program was predicted to be cost-effective. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of adding HPV vaccination to the current national cancer screening program was estimated to be 27 588 $/QALY. The results were sensitive to the price of the vaccine, the discount rate, the screening participation rate and whether herd immunity was taken into account.


Our modeling analysis showed that the vaccination of 12-year-old adolescent girls against cervical cancer with the AS04-adjuvanted human papillomavirus 16/18 vaccine would be a cost-effective strategy to prevent cervical cancer in Hungary.

Cervical cancer; Human papillomavirus; Vaccine; Cervarix; Hungary; Cost-effectiveness