BackgroundCurrently in Japan, both 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV–23) and 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV–13) are available for the elderly for the prevention of S. pneumoniae-related diseases. PPSV–23 was approved in 1988, while the extended use of PCV–13 was approved for adults aged 65 and older in June 2014. Despite these two vaccines being available, the recently launched national immunisation programme for the elderly only subsidised PPSV–23. The framework of the current immunisation programme lasts for five years. The elderly population eligible for the subsidised PPSV–23 shot for the 1st year are those aged 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95 and ≥100. While from the 2nd year to the 5th year, those who will age 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95 and 100 will receive the same subsidised shot.MethodsWe performed economic evaluations to (1) evaluate the efficiency of alternative strategies of PPSV–23 single-dose immunisation programme, and (2) investigate the efficiency of PCV–13 inclusion in the list for single-dose pneumococcal vaccine immunisation programme. Three alternative strategies were created in this study, namely: (1) current PPSV–23 strategy, (2) 65 to 80 (as “65–80 PPSV–23 strategy”), and (3) 65 and older (as “≥65 PPSV–23 strategy”). We constructed a Markov model depicting the S. pneumoniae-related disease course pathways. The transition probabilities, utility weights to estimate quality adjusted life year (QALY) and disease treatment costs were either calculated or cited from literature. Cost of per shot of vaccine was ¥8,116 (US$74; US$1 = ¥110) for PPSV–23 and ¥10,776 (US$98) for PCV–13. The model runs for 15 years with one year cycle after immunisation. Discounting was at 3%.ResultsCompared to current PPSV–23 strategy, 65–80 PPSV–23 strategy cost less but gained less, while the incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) of ≥65 PPSV–23 strategy was ¥5,025,000 (US$45,682) per QALY gained. PCV–13 inclusion into the list for single-dose subsidy has an ICER of ¥377,000 (US$3,427) per QALY gained regardless of the PCV–13 diffusion level. These ICERs were found to be cost-effective since they are lower than the suggested criterion by WHO of three times GDP (¥11,000,000 or US$113,636 per QALY gained), which is the benchmark used in judging the cost-effectiveness of an immunisation programmne.ConclusionsThe results suggest that switching current PPSV–23 strategy to ≥65 PPSV–23 strategy or including PCV–13 into the list for single-dose subsidy to the elderly in Japan has value for money.
Japan is now preparing to incorporate PCV-7 into the national childhood immunisation programme. Our recently published economic evaluation of using PCV-7 to the birth cohort suggests that the cost to gain one QALY is lower than the WHO's cost-effectiveness criterion for intervention. However, many countries have started to introduce PCV-13 into their national immunisation schedule replacing PCV-7 for preventing pneumococcal diseases among young children. These raise the need to appraise the 'value for money' of replacing PCV-7 with PCV-13 vaccination programme in Japan. We conducted a cost-effectiveness analysis with Markov model and calculated incremental cost effectiveness ratios (ICERs). Our base-case analyses, which assumed both PCVs have no net indirect effect and set the cost of PCV-7/PCV-13 per shot at ¥10,000 (US$125)/¥13,000 (US$163). The results show that in Base-case A (assumed PCV-13 has no additional protection against AOM compared to PCV-7), replacing PCV-7 with PCV-13 will cost ¥37,722,901 (US$471,536) or ¥35,584,455 (US$444,850) per QALY when the caregiver's productivity loss is not included or is included, respectively. While in Base-case B (assumed PCV-13 has additional protection against AOM compared to PCV-7), ¥343,830 (US$4298) per QALY or more QALY is gained by saving money without or with caregiver's productivity loss, respectively. We also find that, in Base-case B if cost per PCV-13 shot is equal to or less than that ¥17,000, then a PCV-13 vaccination programme offered to the birth cohort in Japan is likely to be a socially acceptable option compared to the current PCV-7 vaccination programme. Furthermore, if cost per PCV-13 shot is equal to or less than ¥12,000, replacing PCV-7 with PCV-13 will save money and gain more QALYs. While in Base-case A, the replacement can only be socially acceptable if cost per PCV-13 shot is equal to or less than ¥11,000.
The results question the rationale for subsidy, especially in urban area. There are cases where maintaining or increasing the level of subsidy is not an efficient allocation of finite health care resources. When organising a vaccination programme, health manager should be careful about the balance between subsidy and other efforts in order to encourage the elderly to receive shots with price elasticity in mind.
Two rotavirus vaccines are currently available in Japan. We estimated the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of routine infant rotavirus immunisation program without defining which vaccine to be evaluated, which reflects the current deliberation at the Health Science Council in charge of Immunisation and Vaccine established by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan. Three ICERs were estimated, one from payers' perspective and 2 from societal perspective depending on the scenarios to uptake vaccines. The health statuses following the birth cohort were as follows: not infected by rotavirus, asymptomatic infection, outpatients after infection, hospitalised after infection, developing encephalitis/ encephalopathy followed by recovery, sequelae, and death.
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