The cost-effectiveness of hepatitis A vaccination in patients with chronic hepatitis C

Authors

  • Robert P. Myers,

    1. From the Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, London Health Sciences Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada
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  • James C. Gregor,

    1. From the Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, London Health Sciences Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada
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  • Paul J. Marotta M.D.

    Corresponding author
    1. From the Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, London Health Sciences Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada
    • London Health Sciences Centre, University Campus, 339 Windermere Road, London, ON, Canada, N6A 5A5. fax: 519-663-3858
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Abstract

Infection with hepatitis A virus (HAV) occasionally leads to acute liver failure and has a higher fatality rate in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV). Vaccination of patients with HCV against HAV is effective and well tolerated. This study examines the cost-effectiveness of HAV vaccination in North American patients with chronic HCV. A decision analysis model was constructed to compare 3 HAV vaccination strategies in adult patients with chronic HCV over a period of 5 years: (1) vaccinate no patients (treat none); (2) vaccinate only susceptible (anti-HAV negative) patients (selective); or (3) vaccinate all patients without prior testing of immune status (universal). Probabilities and direct costs were estimated from hospital data and the literature. The cost per patient for the 3 vaccination strategies were: treat none, $2.00; selective, $56.00; and universal, $82.00. For every 1,000,000 patients with HCV vaccinated over a 5-year period, the selective strategy prevented 128 symptomatic cases of HAV, 3 liver transplantations, and 3 deaths owing directly to HAV compared with the treat none strategy. In addition, the selective strategy costs an additional $427,000 per patient with HAV prevented, and $23 million per HAV-related death averted, compared with the treat none strategy. The results were most sensitive to the incidence of HAV infection; vaccination increased costs if the annual rate of infection was less than 0.56% (baseline, 0.01%). Vaccination of North American patients with chronic HCV against HAV infection is not a cost-effective therapy.

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