HPV testing is now recommended in several countries (In Holland and USA, for example) to replace the Pap test (cytology) for primary screening of cervical cancer.
Roche is one of the big players in this field with its cobas® HPV test. The marketing of the new version was announced on March 28, 2017.
The market of HPV testing is indeed very lucrative and promises to grow: “Cervical Dysplasia Market Valued at US $ 349.0 Million in 2015, is Expected to Rise to US $ 640.2 Million by 2024”, states Transparency Market Research.
But is HPV testing really a progress for women’s health? Doubt is a must. HPV tests have a false-positive rate almost five times higher than cytology screening (“lack of specificity varied between 3.3% With cytology and 14.9% with cobas”), lead to increased demand for additional testing and cause overdiagnosis.
Conclusion: HPV testing is above all a great commercial opportunity for the pharmaceutical industry.
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