John Hornberger, MD, MS; Katherine Robertus, MPH
Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.
Requests for Single Reprints: John Hornberger, MD, MS, Acumen LLC, 500 Airport Boulevard, Suite 365, Burlingame, CA 94010; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current Author Addresses: Dr. Hornberger and Ms. Robertus: Acumen LLC, 500 Airport Boulevard, Suite 365, Burlingame, CA 94010.
Author Contributions: Conception and design: J. Hornberger.
Analysis and interpretation of the data: J. Hornberger, K. Robertus.
Drafting of the article: J. Hornberger.
Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: J. Hornberger, K. Robertus.
Final approval of the article: J. Hornberger, K. Robertus.
Provision of study materials or patients: J. Hornberger.
Statistical expertise: J. Hornberger, K. Robertus.
Obtaining of funding: J. Hornberger.
Administrative, technical, or logistic support: J. Hornberger.
Collection and assembly of data: J. Hornberger, K. Robertus.
The Shingles Prevention Study showed that a varicella-zoster virus (VZV) vaccine administered to adults 60 years of age or older reduced the incidence of herpes zoster from 11.12 to 5.42 cases per 1000 person-years. Median follow-up was 3.1 years, and relative risk reduction was 51.3% (95% CI, 44.2% to 57.6%).
To assess the extent to which clinical and cost variables influence the cost-effectiveness of VZV vaccination for preventing herpes zoster in immunocompetent older adults.
Decision theoretical model.
English-language data published to March 2006 identified from MEDLINE on herpes zoster rates, vaccine effectiveness, quality of life, medical resource use, and unit costs.
Immunocompetent adults 60 years of age or older with a history of VZV infection.
Varicella-zoster virus vaccination versus no vaccination.
Incremental quality-adjusted survival and cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained.
By reducing incidence and severity of herpes zoster, vaccination can increase quality-adjusted survival by 0.6 day compared with no vaccination. One scenario in which vaccination costs less than $100 000 per QALY gained is when 1) the unit cost of vaccination is less than $200, 2) the age at vaccination is less than 70 years, and 3) the duration of vaccine efficacy is more than 30 years.
Vaccination would be more cost-effective in “younger” older adults (age 60 to 64 years) than in “older” older adults (age ≥80 years). Longer life expectancy and a higher level of vaccine efficacy offset a lower risk for herpes zoster in the younger group. Other factors influencing cost-effectiveness include quality-of-life adjustments for acute zoster, unit cost of the vaccine, risk for herpes zoster, and duration of vaccine efficacy.
The effectiveness of VZV vaccination remains uncertain beyond the median 3.1-year duration of follow-up in the Shingles Prevention Study.
Varicella-zoster virus vaccination to prevent herpes zoster in older adults would increase QALYs compared with no vaccination. Resolution of uncertainties about the average quality-of-life effects of acute zoster and the duration of vaccine efficacy is needed to better determine the cost-effectiveness of zoster vaccination in older adults.
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Hornberger J, Robertus K. Cost-Effectiveness of a Vaccine To Prevent Herpes Zoster and Postherpetic Neuralgia in Older Adults. Ann Intern Med. 2006;145:317–325. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-145-5-200609050-00004
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2006;145(5):317-325.
Infectious Disease, Prevention/Screening, Vaccines/Immunization.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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