By Andrew M. Potts
The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) has rejected a submission to add the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for use in males.
Gardasil is currently only available on the PBS for girls through the National Immunisation Program (NIP) to combat cervical cancer.
Last year, drug maker CSL applied to add Gardasil for boys to the NIP, which would reduce HPV-caused penile, head and neck cancers in men generally, and anal cancers in gay men.
The PBAC “rejected the submission because of unacceptably high and uncertain cost-effectiveness”, according to the published outcomes of its March meeting.
The Kirby Institute’s Professor Basil Donovan, who called for Gardasil to be given to boys last year, said, as it was the first time CSL had made an application, it was “quite predictable” they had been knocked back.
“They usually reject everything on first approach,” Donovan told the Star Observer. “I have no doubt CSL will make another submission.”