Implementing an influenza vaccination programme for adults aged ≥65 years in Poland: a cost-effectiveness analysis.Clin Drug Investig. 2012 Feb 01; 32(2):73-85.CD
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES
Influenza is a common respiratory disease occurring in seasonal patterns, and may lead to severe complications in frail populations such as the elderly. In Poland, influenza vaccination is recommended for people aged ≥65 years; however the vaccine coverage rate in the elderly is very low. The fact that influenza vaccine is neither reimbursed by the National Health Insurance (Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia [NFZ]) nor financed via a National Immunization Program (NIP) could be a reason for the low coverage rate. This study assessed the cost effectiveness of the full reimbursement of an influenza vaccination programme in Poland for people aged ≥65 years.
A decision-analytic model was developed to compare costs and outcomes associated with the current situation in which influenza vaccination is not reimbursed and a new situation in which it would be fully covered by the NFZ. The model was parameterized to Poland using data from the literature and from the Central Statistic Office of Poland. Within the elderly population, 50% were considered to be at high risk of influenza complications. An influenza attack rate of 3.5% was used for calculation purposes. Influenza-associated hospitalizations and death rates were estimated at 439.9 per 100 000 person-years and 79.1 per 100 000 person-years, respectively. Cost estimates were derived from a cost study conducted in Poland. Costs are presented in Polish Zloty (PLN) [2009 mean exchange rate: 1 PLN = €0.232]. Only direct medical costs were included to fit to the NFZ perspective. To reflect the seasonality of influenza, a time horizon of 1 year was chosen. Life-years and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) accumulated over future years were discounted at a rate of 5% as recommended by Polish guidelines. Deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were conducted.
In Poland, the introduction of the public funding of influenza vaccination for people aged ≥65 years would cost PLN 79 million when an increase in coverage rate from 13.5% to 40% is assumed. 23 900 cases of influenza, 1777 hospitalizations and 548 premature deaths would be averted each year due to the influenza vaccination programme. Fifty-seven persons would need to be vaccinated to prevent one case of influenza. To prevent one hospitalization and one death due to influenza, 842 and 2809 individuals would need to be vaccinated, respectively. The new strategy would be very cost effective compared with the current situation with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of PLN26 118/QALY, which is below the 2009 yearly gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. Deterministic sensitivity analyses demonstrated that the most influential variables for the ICER were vaccine efficacy against death, excess hospitalization rate, utility norms, influenza attack rate, vaccine efficacy against hospitalization, and discount rates. All ICERs computed were below the threshold of 3 GDP per capita. From the probabilistic analysis, the proposed new influenza vaccination programme, if implemented, was predicted to be cost effective from the NFZ perspective with a probability of 100%, given the same threshold.
Implementing a vaccination programme in Poland in which influenza vaccination would be fully reimbursed by the NFZ for people aged ≥65 years would be a very cost-effective strategy.