The Department of Health has accepted the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine into the NHS immunisation programme after completion of a cost benefit analysis. This announcement has been reported by the BBC and wider media.
The vaccine will be introduced into the national programme in Autumn 2008 for girls aged 12-13 years with a catch up campaign starting the following year for girls aged up to 18 years. The vaccine will be funded nationally for both of these initiatives.
There is no indication at this stage if both of the vaccines, Gardasil® or Ceravix®, will be part of the programme however the Department of Health are expected to negotiate the price down from the current level of £240 per patient.
Action: Clinicians should be aware of this announcement as it may increase demand for the vaccine. Prescriptions issued prior to the national campaign will need to be funded from existing budgets.