Medical Care Costs Associated with Genital Warts for Commercially Insured US Patients
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Genital warts are caused by infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) and are associated with significant morbidity. Primary prevention of genital warts is possible through HPV vaccination, but vaccination rates remain low in the USA. When deciding to implement HPV vaccination programs, public health officials and policy makers rely on cost-effectiveness studies that accurately reflect costs associated with morbidity and mortality. However, previous information on the cost of treating genital warts was outdated.
We estimated the mean direct medical care costs associated with genital warts in the USA.
This was a retrospective case–control study of patients diagnosed with genital warts and matched controls. We used commercial healthcare claims data from 2011 through 2014 to estimate total 1- and 2-year costs from date of diagnosis. We used a generalized linear model to identify factors associated with monthly costs.
We identified 34,686 eligible cases of genital warts during the period 2011–2014. The first 2-year mean direct medical cost differences between cases and controls were US$6737 for the USA. Costs were significantly higher in the first 3 months following diagnosis and were higher among older individuals, women, those with co-morbidities or psychiatric illnesses, and those located in the south and southwest USA.
The mean direct cost of treating genital warts is approximately US$6700 in the first 2 years after diagnosis in the USA. These data can assist policy makers in decisions with respect to allocation of resources to implement HPV vaccine programs.
Editorial assistance was provided by Sunita Patterson of MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Department of Scientific Publications.
Study concept and design: Lairson and Wen; data analysis: Lairson, Wen, and Fu; all authors participated in the interpretation of data and drafting, critical review, and final approval of the manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
This study was supported by generous philanthropic contributions, including a contribution from the Lyda Hill Foundation to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Moon Shots Program, and was accomplished within the Oropharynx Program at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and funded in part through the Stiefel Oropharyngeal Research Fund.
Conflict of Interest
Kristina R. Dahlstrom, Shuangshuang Fu, Wenyaw Chan, Zeena Shelal, Lois M. Ramondetta, and David R. Lairson have no conflict of interests to disclose.
For this type of study formal consent is not required.
Data Availability Statement
The MarketScan claims data are available from Truven Health Analytics, now part of IBM Watson Health, with access fees subject to the level of research funding. Contact Dr Lairson for software code requests.
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