The Economics of HIV Vaccines
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Objectives: (i) To project vaccine parameters, economic consequences and market size associated with HIV-1 vaccination of infants in sub-Saharan Africa through the Expanded Program on Immunisation (EPI); and (ii) to assess threshold values for price and effectiveness.
Study design and methods: Cost-effectiveness analysis using a decision-analysis model linking epidemiological data with economic information. Epidemiological data on the burden of disease of HIVwere obtained from theWorld Health Organization (WHO) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. The decision analysis model was constructed using estimates of lifetime chances of HIV infection. To assess threshold values for price and effectiveness, a maximum value for cost effectiveness in developing countries of $US100 was used in the base case. One-way and multivariate sensitivity analysis was performed on relevant parameters, assessing the impact of these parameters on the results of our analysis. In the base case, health benefits and consequences were discounted at a rate of 3%.
Study perspective: Societal.
Results: According to our model, introduction of an HIV-1 vaccine in the EPI would result in the vaccination of 8 717 112 infants in sub-Saharan Africa per year. This corresponds to the prevention of 1 839 355 cases of HIV per year, gaining 16 461 800 disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). The cost-effectiveness ratio of the intervention would be $US3.4 per DALY gained (1998 values) at a vaccine price in the base case of $US5. At the same price the estimated size of the market would be approximately $US44 536 111 per year.
Conclusion: If technological and financial problems associated with the development of an HIV vaccine can be solved,HIVvaccination in Africa could be both cost effective and potentially profitable.
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