Estimating the cost-effectiveness of an infant 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine national immunization program in China

Kunling Shen, Matthew Wasserman, Dongdong Liu, Yong-Hong Yang, Junfeng Yang, Greg F Guzauskas, Bruce C M Wang, Betsy Hilton, Raymond Farkouh
PloS One 2018, 13 (7): e0201245

BACKGROUND: The burden of pneumococcal disease in China is high, and a 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) recently received regulatory approval and is available to Chinese infants. PCV13 protects against the most prevalent serotypes causing invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in China, but will not provide full societal benefits until made broadly available through a national immunization program (NIP).

OBJECTIVE: To estimate clinical and economic benefits of introducing PCV13 into a NIP in China using local cost estimates and accounting for variability in vaccine uptake and indirect (herd protection) effects.

METHODS: We developed a population model to estimate the effect of PCV13 introduction in China. Modeled health states included meningitis, bacteremia, pneumonia (PNE), acute otitis media, death and sequelae, and no disease. Direct healthcare costs and disease incidence data for IPD and PNE were derived from the China Health Insurance and Research Association database; all other parameters were derived from published literature. We estimated total disease cases and associated costs, quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), and deaths for three scenarios from a Chinese Payer Perspective: (1) direct effects only, (2) direct+indirect effects for IPD only, and (3) direct+indirect effects for IPD and inpatient PNE.

RESULTS: Scenario (1) resulted in 370.3 thousand QALYs gained and 12.8 thousand deaths avoided versus no vaccination. In scenarios (2) and (3), the PCV13 NIP gained 383.2 thousand and 3,580 thousand QALYs, and avoided 13.1 thousand and 147.5 thousand deaths versus no vaccination, respectively. In all three scenarios, the vaccination cost was offset by cost reductions from prevented disease yielding net costs of ¥29,362.32 million, ¥29,334.29 million, and ¥13,524.72 million, respectively. All resulting incremental cost-effectiveness ratios fell below a 2x China GDP cost-effectiveness threshold across a range of potential vaccine prices.

DISCUSSION: Initiation of a PCV13 NIP in China incurs large upfront costs but is good value for money, and is likely to prevent substantial cases of disease among children and non-vaccinated individuals.

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