Objectives: To estimate: 1) rotavirus disease burden in New Zealand children aged under 5 years, and 2) health benefits, budget impact, and cost-effectiveness of incorporating a pentavalent rotavirus vaccine (PRV) into the national immunization schedule.
Methods: A static equilibrium model was developed to evaluate health benefits and budget impact of vaccinating five successive birth cohorts with PRV at $50 per dose and 85% coverage (three doses). Cost-effectiveness was estimated from the societal perspective in year 5 of the program, with future health benefits discounted at 3.5% per annum.
Results: By the age of 5 years, one in five children will have sought medical advice for rotavirus gastroenteritis and one in 43 will have been hospitalized. In 2009, we estimate 1506 hospitalizations (476 per 100,000; 95% confidence interval 451, 502), 3086 Emergency Department (ED) presentations not requiring hospitalization, plus 10,120 cases of rotavirus gastroenteritis managed solely in primary care. The annual societal cost is $7.07 million, including 41% from hospitalization and 25% from caregiver income loss. Health benefits will increase and the cost of illness will decline by 78% in year 5 as successive birth cohorts are immunized. In the fifth year, 1191 hospitalizations, 2442 ED treated cases, 9762 primary care consultations, and 0.8 deaths will be averted. It requires six vaccinated children to avoid one primary care consultation, 49 to avert one hospitalization, and 73,357 to prevent one death. The incremental cost is $2.99 million and the break-even price per vaccine dose is $32.39 at 2006 prices. The cost is $2509 to avert one hospitalization and $305 to prevent one case seeking health-care assistance. The cost per life-year gained in year 5 is $143,097 and the cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained is $46,092 (US$26,774). The cost per QALY is sensitive to incidence rates, vaccine price and efficacy, loss of quality of life by the child, case fatality, and caregiver income loss.
Conclusions: From a societal perspective, addition of PRV to the New Zealand childhood immunization schedule would confer important clinical gains at a modest cost per QALY gained.
© 2009, International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR)