The Department of Health has announced that the national contract for human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) has gone to Cervarix®. This announcement has also been reported in the general media (BBC, The Times).
As previously noted, Gardasil® has a wider range of licensed indications based on the current Summaries of Product Characteristics (Cervarix and Gardasil). In addition to the wider range of indications, Gardasil is also licensed in a wider age group and for both genders.
The official announcement notes that the decision was based on a wide range of criteria such as their scientific qualities and cost effectiveness but that the price remains commercially confidential. At a time when the NHS has a significant cash surplus it must be hoped that, for reasons of transparency, the rationale for choosing what appears to be an inferior vaccine are made public.
Action: Clinicians need to be aware of the national HPV vaccination programme and the chosen vaccine.