Report on New Patented Drugs - Gardasil

Under its transparency initiative, the PMPRB publishes the results of the reviews of new patented drugs by Board Staff, for purposes of applying the PMPRB's Excessive Price Guidelines (Guidelines) for all new active substances introduced after January 1, 2002 .

Brand Name: Gardasil

Generic Name: (quadrivalent human papillomavirus recombinant vaccine)

DIN: 02283190 (0.5 mL dose )

Patentee: Merck Frosst Canada Ltd.

Indication - as per product monograph:
Vaccine indicated in girls and women 9-26 years of age for the prevention of infection caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV) types 6, 11, 16 and 18 and for the prevention of the following diseases associated with these HPV types: Cervical cancer, vulvar and vaginal cancer, genital warts (condyloma acuminata), cervical adenocarcinoma in situ (AIS), cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) grade 2 and grade 3, vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN) grade 2 and grade 3, vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia (VaIN) grade 2 and grade 3, and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) grade 1.

Date of Issuance of First Patent(s)
Pertaining to the Medicine: September 20, 2005

Notice of Compliance: July 10, 2006

Date of First Sale: August 16, 2006

ATC Class: J07BM01
Antiinfectives for Systemic Use; Vaccines; Viral Vaccines; Papillomavirus Vaccines

Application of the Guidelines


The introductory price of Gardasil was found to be within the Guidelines because the price in Canada did not exceed the median of the prices of the same drug in those countries listed in the Patented Medicines Regulations, 1994 (Regulations) in which Gardasil was sold.

Scientific Review:

Gardasil is a new active substance and the PMPRB's Human Drug Advisory Panel (HDAP) recommended that Gardasil be classified as a category 2 new medicine. It is a breakthrough medicine as it is the first drug product sold in Canada that addresses effectively both the prevention of infections with HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18 and the associated precancerous cervical, and external genital lesions.

The HDAP did not identify any comparators for Gardasil. There is no drug therapy or vaccine indicated or used for the prevention of HPV and its associated precancerous lesions.

Price Review:

Under the Guidelines, the introductory price of a new category 2 drug product will be presumed to be excessive if it exceeds the prices of all comparable drug products, based on a Therapeutic Class Comparison (TCC) test, and the median of the international prices identified in an International Price Comparison (IPC) test. See the PMPRB's Compendium of Guidelines, Policies and Procedures for a more complete description of the Guidelines.

It was not possible to conduct a TCC test as the HDAP did not identify any comparator drug products. At introduction, the price of Gardasil was within the Guidelines as it did not exceed the median of the international prices identified in an IPC test.

Introductory Period (August to December 2006)

Country Price per Dose (CDN)
Canada $134.8894
France $170.4902
Germany $183.5870
Italy n/a
Sweden $177.2312
Switzerland $187.7860
United Kingdom $181.8804
United States $152.1041
International Median $179.5558

Sources: Publicly available prices as per the Regulations

Where comparators and dosage regimens are referred to in the Summary Reports, they have been selected by the PMPRB Staff and the HDAP for the purpose of carrying out the PMPRB's regulatory mandate, which is to review the prices of patented medicines sold in Canada to ensure that such prices are not excessive. The publication of these reports is also part of the PMPRB's commitment to make its price review process more transparent.

The information contained in the PMPRB's Summary Reports should not be relied upon for any purpose other than its stated purpose and is not to be interpreted as an endorsement, recommendation or approval of any drug nor is it intended to be relied upon as a substitute for seeking appropriate advice from a qualified health care practitioner.

References - Gardasil

  1. Committee on Adolescent Health Care; ACOG Working Group on Immunization. ACOG Committee Opinion No. 344: Human papillomavirus vaccination. Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Sep; 108(3 Pt 1):699-705.

  2. Foerster V, Murtagh J. Vaccines for prevention of human papillomavirus infection. Issues Emerg Health Technol. 2005 Dec;(75):1-4.

  3. Franco EL, Harper DM. Vaccination against human papillomavirus infection: a new paradigm in cervical cancer control. Vaccine. 2005;23:2388-94.

  4. Frazer IH, Cox JT, Mayeaux EJ Jr, Franco EL, Moscicki AB, Palefsky JM, Ferris DG, Ferenczy AS, Villa LL. Advances in prevention of cervical cancer and other human papillomavirus-related diseases. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2006 Feb;25(2 Suppl):S65-81.

  5. Gardasil. Scientific Discussion. European Medicines Agency. October 5, 2006 . Available at:

  6. Garland SM. Efficacy of a quadrivalent HPV (types 6, 11, 16, 18) L1 VLP vaccine against external genital disease: FUTURE I analysis. 6th European Research Organization on Genital Infection and Neoplasia (EUROGIN). Paris, France. Apr 23-26, 2006: 26-4.

  7. Health Canada . Drug Product Database [database on the Internet; cited 19 Sept 2006 ]. Available from:

  8. Health Canada . Notice of Compliance Search [database on the Internet; cited 19 Sept 2006 ]. Available from:

  9. Koutsky LA, Ault KA, Wheeler CM, Brown DR, Barr E, Alvarez FB, Chiacchierini LM, Jansen KU; Proof of Principle Study Investigators. A controlled trial of human papillomavirus type 16 vaccine. N Engl J Med. 2002 Nov 21;347(21):1645-51.

  10. Mao C, Koutsky LA, Ault KA, Wheeler CM, Brown DR , Wiley DJ, Alvarez FB, Bautista OM, Jansen KU, Barr E. Efficacy of human papillomavirus-16 vaccine to prevent cervical intraepithelial neoplasia: a randomized controlled trial. Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Jan;107(1):18-27.

  11. Medical Letter. A human papillomavirus vaccine. August 14/28, 2006. Issue 1241/1242.

  12. Merck Frosst Canada Ltd. Product Monograph, Gardasil Kirkland QC. July 4, 2006 .

  13. Nolan T, Block SL, Reisinger KS , Marchant CD et al. Comparison of the immunogenicity and tolerability of a prophylactic quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) (types 6, 11, 16, 18) L1 virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine in male and female adolescents and young adult women. Presentation at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the European Society of Pediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID); 2005 May 19; Valencia , Spain . Available at:

  14. Scheurer ME, Tortolero-Luna G, Adler-Storthz K. Human papillomavirus infection: biology, epidemiology, and prevention. Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2005;15:727-46.

  15. Schmiedeskamp MR, Kockler Dr. Human papillomavirus vaccines. Ann Pharmacother. 2006 Jul-Aug;40(7-8):1344-52.

  16. Siddiqui MAA , Perry CM. Human papillomavirus quadrivalent (types 6, 11, 16, 18) recombinant vaccine (Gardasil). Drugs. 2006;66(9):1263-71

  17. Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada . Women's Health Specialists Welcome Cancer Prevention Vaccine. SOGC News Release. July 18, 2006 . Available from:

  18. Trottier H, Franco EL. The epidemiology of genital human papillomavirus infection. Vaccine. 2006 Mar 30;24 Suppl 1:S1-15.

  19. WHO Collaborating Centre for Drug Statistics Methodology. ATC Index [database on the Internet; cited Sept 2006]. Available from:

  20. Vil la LL, Costa RLR, Petta CA , Andrade RP et al. Prophylactic quadrivalent human papillomavirus (types 6, 11, 16, and 18) L1 virus-like particle vaccine in young women: a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled multicentre phase II efficacy trial. Lancet Oncol. 2005 May;6(5):271-8.

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