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PNEUMOCOCCAL VACCINATION, AN OPPORTUNITY TO REDUCE HEALTH CARE EXPENSES

Mexico City, Mexico–Immunization of Mexican infants with the vaccine against infection caused by 13 subtypes of pneumococcus (a bacterium that causes pneumonia, other severe diseases and death) would presents savings up to US$1,307 per vaccinated child.

The aim of the research was to assess the public health and economic consequences of the use of different vaccines in national Mexican pneumococcal immunization strategies for infants.

The three vaccines assessed represented and opportunity to improve the health of Mexican infants, however, the differences in the set of pneumococcus subtypes covered by each of them lead to important health improvements and savings in health expenses associated to the vaccines formulated with the 13 subtypes of the bacterium. Immunization with these vaccines would avoid 16,205 infant death by year and the savings associated to treat avoided causes of pneumonia, meningitis and blood infections represented up to US $1,307 per vaccinated infant (the highest saving regarding the vaccines assessed).

By the year 2000, it was estimated that infection cause by pneumococcis caused about 14.5 million of cases of severe disease and 825,000 deaths in children under 5 years old. The deaths in Latin America are between 12,000 and 28,000 each year. The social impact of the infections caused by pneumococcus is not limited to the death of children, since a proportion of children affected by these infections will develop lifetime sequelae (neurologic damage and hear impairment) that will impact negatively their quality of life. Vaccination is an effective intervention to reduce child morbidity and mortality associated to pneumococcus. The availability of pneumococcal vaccines makes it necessary to evaluate local potential impact on public health and costs related to their implementation.

“The information provided in these kind of studies is aimed to support stakeholder’s decisions about the allocation of public resources,” says lead author of the study,  Emilio Muciño-Ortega, MSc, Pfizer S.A. de C.V., México D.F., México. “The results of this study are valuable since provide epidemiologic and health care costs estimations of such important disease in Mexico.”

The study, “Evaluación económica de un programa de inmunización infantil en México basado en la vacuna neumocócica conjugada 13-valente,” appears in the Value in Health Special Issue: Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research in Latin America  (Volume 14, Supplement 1) of Value in Health, the official journal of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR). The study was co-authored by Joaquín Federico Mould-Quevedo, PhD, MBA, Raymond Farkouh, PhD, and David Strutton, PhD, MPH.

The first author, Emilio Muciño, has a MSc in Health Economics, has several publications in peer reviewed journal in the field (Value in Health, Pharmacoeconomics Spanish Research Articles, Revista Española de Economía de la Salud, Journal Brasileiro de Economia Saúde, Gaceta Mexicana de Oncoloía). He is a regular speaker in pharmacoeconomics conferences in Mexico. His areas of expertise are in the economic assessment of health care inventions based on mathematical modeling. He is also the Outcomes Research coordinator of Pfizer S.S. de C.V. (Mexico).

Value in Health (ISSN 1098-3015) publishes papers, concepts, and ideas that advance the field of pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research as well as policy papers to help health care leaders make evidence-based decisions.  The journal is published bi-monthly and has a regular readership of over 6,000 clinicians, decision makers, and researchers worldwide.

ISPOR is a nonprofit, international, educational and scientific organization that strives to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and fairness of health care resource use to improve health.

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