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Home Genital Warts Genital Warts A Right Bloody Fortune: The Cost of Treating Genital Warts in England

A Right Bloody Fortune: The Cost of Treating Genital Warts in England

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Research from across the pond indicates diagnosis and treatment of genital warts in England cost Britain’s National Health Service 17 million pounds – or $27 million- in 2008. Care for sexually transmitted infections and diseases in the United Kingdom largely occur in genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics, the general equivalent of American public STD clinics.

Using figures from the GUM Activity Data Activity Dataset and General Practice Research Database and (which combined cover all visits and diagnosis in GUM clinics in addition to a number of patients seen by general practice health care providers in England) researchers from the UK’s Health Protection Agency estimate that in 2008 these clinics saw 148,790 cases of genital warts. Pointing to the frequency with which genital warts return, 68,259 cases (46%) were estimated to be recurrences. Warts were common in both genders, but both new and recurrent cases were diagnosed slightly more frequently in males.

The $27 million figure works out to roughly $183 (or 113 British Pounds) per case, which the authors describe as a “…exert[ing] a considerable impact on health services, a large proportion of which could be prevented through immunization using the quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine.” The population of England is approximately 50 million. The U.S., by comparison, has a population of 312 million and, according to an analysis in 2008 by Harvard researchers, an estimated annual cost of $171 million to care for genital warts.

References:
Desai S, Wetten S, Woodhall SC, Peters L, Hughes G, Soldan K. Genital warts and cost of care in England. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 2011. Printed online August 3rd.