18 Feb 2013

Pharmac considers funding HPV vaccine for boys

9:53 pm on 18 February 2013

The New Zealand Government's drug-buying agency, Pharmac, will consider extending the vaccination against a cervical cancer virus to boys.

In a world first, more than 280,000 boys aged 12 and 13 in Australia are about to get the vaccine Gardasil which governments have only funded for girls until now.

Men can carry the human papilloma virus (HPV) which causes cervical cancer, genital warts and some male cancers and pass it on to their sexual partners.

Pharmac says it has received an application from the Ministry of Health to fund the vaccine for boys in New Zealand also.

A Pharmac spokesperson says a committee will consider the application at meetings in March and May.

He says if the committee recommends that boys get the vaccine, Pharmac will carry out an economic analysis before it makes a final decision.

The Government has been funding Gardasil for girls since 2008, with about 50% of 12 and 13-year-olds receiving it each year.