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Determining the cost of genital warts: a study from Ireland
  1. A Dee1,
  2. F Howell2,
  3. C O’Connor3,
  4. S Cremin4,
  5. K Hunter5
  1. 1
    Department of Public Health, HSE-West, 31/33 Catherine Street, Limerick, Ireland
  2. 2
    HSE Population Health Directorate, Navan, Ireland
  3. 3
    Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Limerick, Ireland
  4. 4
    Department of Genito-Urinary Medicine, South Infirmary and Victoria University Hospitals, Cork, Ireland
  5. 5
    Health Protection Surveillance Centre, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Dr A Dee, Department of Public Health, HSE-West, 31/33 Catherine Street, Limerick, Ireland; anne.dee{at}


Objectives: To determine the average cost of a case of genital warts, for both males and females, with a view to informing the current debate as to which Human papillomavirus vaccine would have maximum cost-effectiveness in the Irish population.

Methods: Contact time between patients and healthcare professionals was prospectively measured at five genitourinary medicine clinics in the south-west of Ireland, over a period of 3 weeks. By identifying all those with genital warts, it was possible to calculate the proportion of total time taken by patients with this condition, and from this to calculate a cost per incident case, by gender.

Results: A total of 25.5% of attendances were for genital warts, and these patients used 26.2% of total clinic time (CI 25.4 to 27.0%). The average cost calculated for genital warts was €335 per incident case, and by gender €300 per male case and €366 per female case.

Conclusions: There are considerable costs associated with the treatment of genital warts, with female cases representing a higher cost than males. By vaccinating with the quadrivalent HPV vaccine, there are significant savings to be made.

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  • Dr O’Connor died in December 2008.

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Ethics approval: Ethics approval was provided by the Faculty of Public Health Medicine of Ireland.

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