Govt rejects free HPV vax for boys

A BID to expand the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination program to include adolescent boys has failed due to uncertain cost-effectiveness.

Vaccine maker CSL had applied to add boys to the existing school-based Gardasil vaccination program of 12- to 13-year-old girls under the National Immunisation Program. 

The sponsor also wanted to see a catch-up program over two years for Year 9 males.

“The PBAC [Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee] rejected the submission because of unacceptably high and uncertain cost-effectiveness,” according to minutes from the March PBAC meeting posted on the PBS website last week.

A CSL spokeswoman said the company would not give up, believing a “gender-neutral strategy” would have the greatest impact on HPV disease.

“We believe extending HPV vaccination to males is an important public health initiative, and we are committed to working with the PBAC to secure