13,437 women died of cervical cancer in Europe in 2020. But innovation is fighting back, with the HPV vaccine reducing risk of cervical cancer by almost 100%.

In brief:

Value for patients
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  • Paradigm shift – Almost all (≥ 95%) cases of cervical cancer are caused by an infection from human papillomavirus (HPV). Since 2006, several vaccines against HPV have become available in the EU27, providing the opportunity to prevent most cases of cervical cancer
  • Preventable cases and deaths – More than 27,000 cervical cancer cases and 12,000 deaths can be prevented by HPV vaccination, each year
  • Preventable diagnostic wait time / events – Each year, over 19M women are invited to be screened for HPV. Screening and testing can cause discomfort and stress. Screened women all wait 2-6 weeks in uncertainty for the results of a diagnostic test for cervical cancer. The burden of cervical cancer screening can be reduced by 57% with HPV vaccination, as vaccinated women require less screening
Value to healthcare systems
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  • Preventable resource use (€) – Treatment for cervical cancer requires a considerable amount of healthcare resources. On average, a course of treatment for cervical cancer costs over €26,000 (based on an Italian perspective). The total healthcare costs in Italy for the treatment of cervical cancer can be decreased by €74M due to HPV vaccination
  • Preventable resource use (Staff) – With HPV vaccination, fewer patients require treatment, therefore a total of 493k working hours for nurses can be reallocated
Value to society
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  • Economic gains – Vaccinating all women in EU27 against HPV would increase work productivity and labour income by 5.7M working hours and €387.0M respectively
  • Preventable family pain – Cervical cancer has a significant impact on families and women who want to have children which can be prevented through HPV vaccination

The HPV vaccines are a game changer for women; they have the potential to virtually eradicate the vast majority of cervical cancer cases. Just two decades ago, this was unthinkable.

Around 30,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the EU each year, and around 13,500 die. Since 2006, several vaccines against HPV have become available, providing the opportunity to prevent most cases of cervical cancer.

With 2.2million eligible for the HPV vaccine every year, we predict that 27,000 cases and 12,000 deaths in women over the age of 12 can be avoided. That’s millions of families not losing a sister, daughter, or mother.

A huge success in itself, but we can add to this vast societal cost savings. Vaccines prevent the need for cancer screening and the burden of treating cervical cancer. In Italy alone – which has around 9% of cases – that equates to 25,000 Euros per patient totalling 75million Euros.

These examples show how far we have come, and the potential that exists if we support our scientists to continue innovating.

Medicines and vaccines save lives. And, with more than 8,000 medicines and vaccines in the global pipeline, it’s just the start.

Discover more on the impact of HPV vaccination on people, healthcare systems and society