Cervical screening and HPV testing: Opportunities for rapid tests

Problem:  Our client Cepheid has developed a rapid HPV PCR test that can be used as a point-of-care test (POCT). They wanted to understand where in the cervical cancer screening and treatment pathway the test would be most beneficial to patients and the healthcare system. This comes during a time of uncertainty about how best to screen women, and how to organise laboratory services around screening. It is also unclear how screening may differ across Europe and the burden of cervical disease.

 Approach:  We conducted a literature review of the evidence about the current national cervical screening programme in the UK. Then, we conducted 25 semi-structured interviews with key opinion leaders across the UK to gain additional insight about the pathway and the opportunities for using a POCT in the screening pathway. Results also contributed to a European tool to understand cervical cancer diagnosis and burden.

 Impact:  We have presented our findings at international conferences (EUROGIN 2015, IPC 2015), and results have helped our client as they communicate the opportunities and value of a POCT for HPV to their stakeholders and customers. We have engaged with the international community on the requirements for the creation of a standardised international cervical cancer data repository, to inform better evidence-based decision making.

 

Testimonial

“While perfectly responding to the originally given mission, the Aquarius team painted a comprehensive picture of how healthcare is really delivered currently in Europe. This opened up our minds to new ways of improving patient care. The Aquarius team under Elisabeth’s leadership is highly professional, very creative and great fun to work with, without ever taking short cuts. I cannot imagine better results for us.”

  • Dr Anne Postulka, Senior Director Medical & Economic Value, Cepheid

 

Related publications

presentation_iconAdams EJ, Glover R, Vecino A, Postulka A. Exploring the value of a rapid, on-demand test for the detection of human papillomavirus. 30th International Papillomavirus Conference. Lisbon, Portugal. September 17 -21, 2015.

 

presentation_iconAdams EJ, Glover R, Vecino A, Postulka A. How can European countries improve cervical cancer prevention for women? 30th International Papillomavirus Conference. Lisbon, Portugal. September 17 -21, 2015.

The cost of pelvic inflammatory disease and potential cost-savings of chlamydia screening

Problem: The POPI trial was a randomised control trial in South London estimating the incidence of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and the potential impact of screening for chlamydial infection on preventing PID. The study group wanted to know the costs to the health care system of managing PID, and what cost savings could be made through chlamydia screening.

Approach: We worked with the study team to define the question based on the data they had already collected during the trial, and then developed a strategy to answer it. This involved extracting data from patient notes and building a simple model in Excel to estimate the costs of care for women with PID. National costs were applied to local data, and we scaled up the results to estimate the potential cost savings, both locally and nationally.

 Impact: This work provided estimates of the cost of managing PID, which are useful to groups exploring the impact of delivering care to these patients and also for those wishing to explore the impact of interventions to avoid PID such as chlamydia screening. The results were published in Sexually Transmitted Infections, and has been cited many times in prestigious journals and authoritative reports and used in two modelling studies.

 

Testimonial

“Dr Adams is an excellent health economist, very clear thinking and easy to work with. She has original ideas and delivers on time. She designed the cost analysis for our trial, supervised the research assistant who assembled the relevant data and enabled publication in a high ranking journal.”

  • Dr Pippa Oakeshott, Professor of General Medicine, St Georges University

 

Related publications

publication_iconAghaizu A, Adams EJ, Turner KME, et al. What is the cost of pelvic inflammatory disease and how much could be prevented by screening for Chlamydia trachomatis? Cost analysis of the POPI (prevention of pelvic infection) trial. Sex Transm Infect 2011; 87:312-317.

How can European countries improve cervical cancer prevention for women?

We conducted a literature review on cervical cancer incidence, screening algorithms and coverage across Europe. Data on the structure and provision of screening programmes are sparse, with large heterogeneity reported by sources. A lack of comparable data across countries makes it challenging for researchers and policy-makers to assess screening effectiveness and what is most beneficial for women. A central data repository could facilitate effectiveness and cost-effectiveness analyses to support the adoption of the best screening algorithm.

presentation_iconAdams EJ, Glover R, Vecino A, Postulka A. How can European countries improve cervical cancer prevention for women? 30th International Papillomavirus Conference. Lisbon, Portugal. September 17 -21, 2015.

 

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Exploring the value of a rapid, on-demand test for the detection of human papillomavirus

We explored the use of a rapid, on-demand human papillomavirus (HPV) test as part of a cervical screening programme. Through semi-structured interviews with experts from across the UK, we found that a co-located, laboratory-based, and on-demand HPV test following cytology could reduce the time to results by up to a week, whilst a near-patient test under primary HPV screening followed by cytology triage could radically change the testing paradigm, with most women notified the same day.

presentation_iconAdams EJ, Glover R, Vecino A, Postulka A. Exploring the value of a rapid, on-demand test for the detection of human papillomavirus. 30th International Papillomavirus Conference. Lisbon, Portugal. September 17 -21, 2015.

 

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Estimating the true costs of splitting HIV antiretroviral drugs

Problem: A regional UK commissioning decision in 2010 mandated that when the component drugs of Combivir—a combination therapy for HIV—come off patent, doctors must prescribe the individual drugs instead. This was driven by a perception that the generic component drugs are cheaper in the immediate-term and so more efficient overall. As our pharmaceutical client’s HIV combination drug was soon to come off patent, they wanted to help commissioners understand the full healthcare costs of such a policy, to inform future decisions.

Approach: We worked with our client and clinicians in Nottingham University Hospital’s HIV clinic who had patient-level care data before and after the commissioning change. We planned the analysis and identified which costs would be used and which data were required.

Impact: Our work contributes to the evidence-base of the costs of prescribing patients a single dose therapy over multiple doses. It has changed people’s perceptions of the costs of treating long-term conditions with combination drugs, and helped commissioners to make policy decisions about mandating use of particular drugs whilst taking a holistic view of healthcare.

 

Testimonial

“Aquarius provided a professional yet personal level of support with our project. We found the statistical support invaluable, and felt that they went the extra mile to ensure the project went smoothly and on time.”

  • Dr Ruth Taylor, Consultant in Genitourinary Medicine, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

 

Related publications

 publication_iconTaylor R, Carlin E, Sadique Z, Ahmed I, Adams EJ. The financial and service implications of splitting fixed-dose antiretroviral drugs – a case study. Accepted Mar 2014, Int J STD AIDS

 

Increased efficiency and improved treatment for stable HIV patients in England

Problem: There was no guidance in England on how frequently stable HIV patients should attend clinics for routine visits, how frequently they should receive their HIV drugs and whether or not it would be cost efficient for patients to collect their drugs from the hospital pharmacy (which incurs VAT) or receive them through a home delivery (with associated delivery cost).

Approach: We built a simple spreadsheet tool in Microsoft Excel to estimate which strategy was the most cost-efficient. Local data from St George’s hospital were obtained and analysed, and supplemented with nationally published data as inputs in the model. Results suggested that the most cost efficient way of delivering care was to see stable patients for routine visits every six months in clinic, and give them their drugs through home delivery every three months; this would also save the most drug wastage for example if patients needed to switch to a new drug regimen. Results suggested that this could save roughly £2000 per patient annually, and roughly £8 million if it were implemented across England to the 4000 HIV patients in 2012.

Impact: Results were given to the London HIV commissioners, published in a peer-reviewed journal, and the tool is available to healthcare professionals so that they can put in their local data to help them make better decisions about healthcare provision.

 

Testimonial

“It has been a pleasure to work with Dr Elisabeth Adams on our costing project for HIV home delivery of drugs. I have also worked with her on research related to the POPI study of chlamydia screening.

She has a very professional and thorough approach to her work, and is good at delivering to timelines. I can recommend her as a partner for future work.”

  • Dr Phillip Hay, Reader and Honorary Consultant, Sexual Health and HIV Medicine, St. George’s Hospital, London

 

Related publications

publication_iconAdams EJ, Ogden D, Ehrlich A, Hay P. Treatment for stable HIV patients in England: can we save costs and improve patient care? Journal of Health Services Research & Policy. Published online 29 Oct 2013, doi:10.1177/1355819613508176

Please contact us to request a version of the tool.

Benefits of a point of care test for sexual health testing

publication_iconOur recently published studies have highlighted the economic and clinical benefits of incorporating a point-of-care nucleic acid amplification test for chlamydia and gonorrhoeae into sexual health clinics. In this article, some of the papers’ authors highlight the advantages over traditional immunoassay techniques for point-of-care detection.

The Clinical Services Journal. May 2014, p59-61.

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Managing Mycoplasma genitalium as an STI

Mycoplasma genitalium is a prevalent sexually transmitted infection that causes significant morbidity in men and women and is a co-factor in HIV transmission. However, commercial diagnostic tests are not generally available for M. genitalium and sub-optimal treatment is often given. Diagnostic tests are needed to reduce the risk of the development of antimicrobial resistance and improve patient care.

publication_iconHorner P, Blee K, Adams E. Time to manage Mycoplasma genitalium as an STI: but not with azithromycin 1g! Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2014; 27:1:68-74.

 

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The financial and service implications of splitting fixed-dose antiretroviral drugs – a case study

Switching to cheaper generic antiretroviral drugs for HIV patients may appear cost saving over fixed-dose combinations, and be an appealing way to reduce healthcare costs. However, the additional clinical costs may outweigh the initial cost savings of the drugs, and switching may cause confusion for some patients, risking loss of adherence. Our analysis provides evidence that can help commissioners make better policy decisions about drug provision.

publication_iconTaylor R, Carlin E, Sadique Z, Ahmed I, Adams EJ. The financial and service implications of splitting fixed-dose antiretroviral drugs – a case study. Int J STD AIDS 0956462414530588, first published on April 3, 2014 as doi:10.1177/0956462414530588

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Point-of-care testing leads the way: article in the Parliamentary Review 2014

Rapid point of care test for sexually transmitted infection diagnosis will allow greater access to high quality care, ensure patients get the correct treatment for their infections, and return to health sooner, reducing the need for follow-up care and preventing onward transmission and complications.

publication_iconPrice C, Adams E, Horner P. Point-of-care testing leads the way. Parliamentary review: Sept 2014

 

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