Aquarius Population Health

Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women aged 15 to 44 years in France. With the implementation of cytology-based cervical screening, cervical cancer incidence and mortality have decreased over time, however, cervical cancer remains a concern. As cervical cancer is primarily caused by persistent infection with high-risk human papillomaviruses (HR-HPV), guidelines for a national cervical screening programme were recently updated to include the use of HR-HPV assays in cervical screening in France.

As the type of HR-HPV test used can impact costs and resources, Aquarius developed a decision tree model simulating the French cervical screening algorithms using French cost and population data and data from the Danish Horizon study to compare the use of the Aptima mRNA HR-HPV assay to a DNA HR-HPV assay.

Adopting an mRNA versus DNA assay as part of national cervical screening in France is estimated to save €6.5 million and prevent approximately 48,000 unnecessary colposcopies, 39,000 unnecessary HPV tests and 122,000 cytology tests over two years for a cohort of 2.2 million women aged 25 to 65 years.

The choice of high-risk human papillomavirus assay makes a significant difference in resource use and costs and is important to consider when implementing cervical screening in France. Using an mRNA versus DNA assay can result in cost savings and reductions in unnecessary testing and procedures, which in turn benefits women and the health care system.

The results of this study were published in the journal Medicine online.

Dombrowski CA, Weston GM, Descamps PP, et al. Health economic evaluation of an mRNA high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) assay versus a DNA HR-HPV assay for the proposed French cervical screening programme. Medicine (Baltimore). 2022 Jul 22;101(29): e29530.

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