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Pharmacoeconomics. 2006;24(2):141-53.

Combination vaccine against invasive meningococcal B and pneumococcal infections: potential epidemiological and economic impact in the Netherlands.

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  • 1Department of Social Pharmacy, Pharmaco-Epidemiology and Pharmacotherapy, Groningen University Institute for Drug Exploration/University of Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (GUIDE/GRIP), Groningen, The Netherlands.



Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria meningitidis group B are among the main causes of invasive bacterial meningitis infections in infants. Worldwide, these diseases lead to significant mortality, morbidity and costs. The societal impact is especially severe since the majority of cases occur in very young infants. A combination vaccine consisting of 9-valent conjugated pneumococcal and meningococcal B components is currently being developed. The aim of this study was to estimate the potential impact and cost effectiveness from the societal perspective of vaccinating infants in The Netherlands with this combination pneumococcal and meningococcal B vaccine versus no vaccination.


A Markov cycle model was developed using epidemiological and healthcare resource use data from 1996 to 2001. This model was used to project the annual costs, benefits and health gains associated with vaccinating all newborns. The base year for the costing was 2003 and all costs and health effects were discounted at 4%. The results of the analysis are expressed in costs per QALY and both probabilistic and univariate sensitivity analyses were used to identify the robustness of the results.


Annually, an average of 755 cases of invasive pneumococcal and meningococcal B infection occurred in infants aged 0-10 years in The Netherlands. Introduction of the combination vaccine would prevent 201 cases of meningococcal B meningitis and 165 cases of invasive pneumococcal disease per year. Additionally, 3410 cases of pneumococcal pneumonia and 46,350 cases of otitis media would be prevented. Vaccination would save 35 lives per year and prevent 71 cases of severe sequelae. This translates into 860 life-years gained, or 1128 QALYs gained. Alongside these health gains, vaccination would prevent euro 17,681,370 of direct medical and indirect costs attributable to meningococcal and pneumococcal infections in The Netherlands. Depending on vaccine price, cost effectiveness varied from euro 3160 (vaccine price per dose euro 20) to euro 32,170 (vaccine price euro 60 per dose) per QALY. Base-case cost effectiveness (vaccine price euro 40) was euro 17,700 per QALY. The model was most sensitive to changes in incidence, vaccine price and duration of protective efficacy.


Our results suggest that the introduction of a combination meningococcal B and pneumococcal vaccine into the Dutch infant vaccination programme is potentially cost effective compared with no vaccination.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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