Economic analysis of influenza vaccination and antiviral treatment for healthy working adults.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Physicians have several treatment options for influenza, including vaccination and various antiviral therapies. However, the optimal influenza prevention and treatment strategy is unknown. OBJECTIVE: To compare the relative health values of contemporary treatment strategies for influenza in a healthy sample of working adults. DESIGN: Cost-benefit analysis using a decision model. DATA SOURCES: Previously published data. TARGET POPULATION: Healthy employed adults 18 to 50 years of age. TIME HORIZON: A complete influenza season. PERSPECTIVE: Societal. INTERVENTIONS: Eight treatment options (yes or no) based on the possible combinations of vaccination and antiviral therapy (rimantadine, oseltamivir, or zanamivir or no treatment) should infection develop. OUTCOME MEASURES: Cost in U.S. dollars, including the value of symptom relief and medication side effects, which was assigned a monetary value through a conjoint analysis that used a "willingness-to-pay" approach. RESULTS: In the base-case analysis, all strategies for influenza vaccination had a higher net benefit than the nonvaccination strategies. Vaccination and use of rimantadine, the most cost-beneficial strategy, was $30.97 more cost-beneficial than nonvaccination and no use of antiviral medication. The health benefits of most antiviral treatments equaled or exceeded their costs for most scenarios. The choice of the most cost-beneficial antiviral strategy was sensitive to the prevalence of influenza B and to the comparative workdays gained by each antiviral therapy. CONCLUSIONS: Vaccination is cost-beneficial in most influenza seasons in healthy working adults. Although the benefits of antiviral therapy for persons with influenza infection appear to justify its cost, head-to-head trials of the various antiviral therapies are needed to determine the optimal treatment strategy.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lee, PY; Matchar, DB; Clements, DA; Huber, J; Hamilton, JD; Peterson, ED

Published Date

  • August 20, 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 137 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 225 - 231

PubMed ID

  • 12186512

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1539-3704

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.7326/0003-4819-137-4-200208200-00005


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States