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Expert Rev Vaccines. 2009 Jul;8(7):907-20. doi: 10.1586/erv.09.53.

Economic evaluations of hepatitis B vaccination for developing countries.

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  • 1Unit of PharmacoEpidemiology & PharmacoEconomics (PE2), Department of Pharmacy, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.


Economic evaluations, in particular cost-effectiveness, are important determinants for policy makers and stakeholders involved in decision-making for health interventions. Up until now, most evaluations of cost-effectiveness of hepatitis B vaccination have been performed in developed countries. Appropriate health-economic studies on this topic specifically targeted at the developing world are essential in order to justify adding another vaccine into the existing Expanded Program on Immunization in these countries. We present a systematic review of economic evaluations of vaccination against HBV for developing and less-developed countries. Vaccine price, the discount rate, incidence and prevalence of HBV infection were found to be major drivers of cost-effectiveness. Data accuracy and reliability were also major issues, with major potentials for improvement in studies of these countries. The choice between monovalent or combination vaccines (diphteria, tetanus and polio-hepatitis B) poses new challenges to cost-effectiveness analysis. It is concluded that for many developing countries implementation of universal immunization against HBV to reduce the level of endemicity of hepatitis B is an appropriate strategy, and probably cost effective in many settings. Given their limited financial resources, developing countries should properly plan how to achieve this. Further country-specific economic evaluations and related gathering of high-quality data must be conducted in developing countries in order to raise both public awareness of the effectiveness and economic attractiveness of universal immunization against HBV.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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