Cost-effectiveness/cost-utility studies of hepatitis A vaccine were identified via a series of literature searches (MEDLINE, EMBASE, HSTAR and SSCI). Citations and full-text articles were reviewed independently by two reviewers. Reference searching, author searches and expert consultation ensured literature saturation. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) were abstracted for base-case analyses, converted to $US, year 2005 values, and categorised to reflect various levels of cost effectiveness. Quality of reporting, methodological issues and key modelling issues were assessed using frameworks published in the literature.
Thirty-one cost-effectiveness studies (including 12 cost-utility analyses) were included from full-text article review (n = 58) and citation screening (n = 570). These studies evaluated universal mass vaccination (n = 14), targeted vaccination (n = 17) and vaccination of susceptibles (i.e. individuals initially screened for antibody and, if susceptible, vaccinated) [n = 13]. For universal vaccination, 50% of the ICERs were <$US20 000 per QALY or life-year gained. Analyses evaluating vaccination in children, particularly in high incidence areas, produced the most attractive ICERs. For targeted vaccination, cost effectiveness was highly dependent on the risk of infection.
Incidence, vaccine cost and discount rate were the most influential parameters in sensitivity analyses. Overall, analyses that evaluated the combined hepatitis A/hepatitis B vaccine, adjusted incidence for under-reporting, included societal costs and that came from studies of higher methodological quality tended to have more attractive cost-effectiveness ratios. Methodological quality varied across studies. Major methodological flaws included inappropriate model type, comparator, incidence estimate and inclusion/exclusion of costs.
PharmacoEconomics, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 17–32