Cost-effectiveness of rotavirus vaccination: exploring caregiver(s) and "no medical care" disease impact in Belgium
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Medical decision making. - Philadelphia, Pa
, p. 33-50
University of Antwerp
Aim. To estimate the cost-effectiveness of universal childhood rotavirus vaccination in Belgium, taking into account the impact of caregiver burden and the burden of sick children for whom no medical care is sought (``no medical care''). Methods. A cohort of newborns is modeled in relation to costs and health outcomes for rotavirus disease, distinguishing episodes leading to consultations, hospitalizations, and deaths from no medical care episodes. Fully funded universal vaccination is compared with no vaccination as well as with the current situation in Belgium, whereby the 2-dose Rotarix or the 3-dose RotaTeq vaccine can be bought at market prices, which are partially reimbursed. Results. Compared with no vaccination, fully funded universal rotavirus vaccination would cost 51,030 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained with Rotarix and 65,767 with RotaTeq (for society, 7572 and 30,227 per QALY, respectively). However, there is considerable uncertainty due to some analytical choices: the proportion of simulations with an acceptable incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (given a willingness to pay 50,000 for an additional QALY), increases from 2%/0.6% (Rotarix/RotaTeq) to 86%/59% when considering no medical care, and including 2 caregivers to estimate QALY loss instead of zero. Uncertainty is greater still under the societal than under the health care payer perspective. Conclusion. For the Belgian health care payer, at current vaccine prices, universal childhood rotavirus vaccination is unlikely to be judged cost-effective versus no vaccination but would be a more efficient and equitable choice than continuing with current practice.