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Acceptance and application of a broad population health perspective when evaluating vaccine

Persson U, Olofsson S, Althin R, Palmborg A, Dorange A-C

The traditional health economic analysis is limited to estimating the impact on the treated patient. As vaccines are usually aimed at preventing infectious diseases, they may be associated with additional values for the non-treated wider population. Although there are valid reasons for treating vaccines differently, and a wide support for a broader perspective in the literature (i.e., beyond the net costs and health gain related to the outcome for the vaccinated individual), it remains unclear to what extent the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) agencies accept and apply a broader perspective. The purpose of this study is to examine and discuss what type of consequences are relevant for a health economic analysis of vaccines and which consequences are considered by HTA agencies. The study includes a strategic review of literature and HTA decisions in Sweden and other countries, online round-table discussions with stakeholders in Sweden, and a basic estimation of the value of a COVID-19 vaccination in Sweden. The study shows that, other than herd effect, broader economic consequences for the population are generally not included in the economic evaluation of vaccines. Also, all economic consequences for the treated patient (production loss) and caregiver (health loss) are not always considered. The perspective chosen can have a major impact on the outcome of the analysis. A vaccine for COVID-19 is estimated to provide a value of €744-€956 per dose when using a societal perspective including broader consequences for the population. Providing a complete and appropriate picture of the value of vaccination is of importance to allocate resources efficiently, to provide incentives for vaccine development, and to show the cost of delaying decisions to implement a new vaccine.

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Vaccine 2022;40(24):3395-3401
DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2022.04.009