Are economic evaluations of vaccines useful to decision-makers? A case study of Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccines
Background: In concert with efforts to increase global provision, economic evaluations of newer and relatively costly vaccines have proliferated in the medical literature. The extent to which existing vaccine evaluations are useful to decision-makers is not clear. We conducted a systematic review of published economic evaluations of conjugate Hib vaccine, anticipating that their usefulness to past and present decision-makers would be limited by the quality of the analyses, and by the extent to which the results were transferable to other settings. Methods: We systematically identified economic evaluations of conjugate Hib vaccine. We appraised their quality according to a customized checklist, and assessed the extent and reasons for variability of the results. Result: Quality assessment of the available economic evaluations disclosed a number of shortcomings, including the failure across all models to derive systematic estimates of vaccine efficacy as well as a lack of transparency in the costing of Hib disease treatment. Wide variations in results appeared due primarily to epidemiological and health system differences between settings, and secondarily to methodological differences between models. The generalizability of model results appeared low. Conclusions: There is scope for improving the overall quality of economic evaluations of Hib vaccination Relevance to decision-makers may also be increased by addressing local budget constraints and vaccine price. There is a need for better understanding of the decision process, particularly at the national level, to ensure the role of future economic evaluations as important decision tools in the implementation of new vaccines.
Brinsmead, R.; Hill, S.; Walker, D. Are economic evaluations of vaccines useful to decision-makers? A case study of Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccines. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal (2004) 23 (1) 32-37.