In 2018, a panel of health economics and meningococcal disease experts convened to review methodologies, frameworks, and decision-making processes for economic evaluations of vaccines, with a focus on evaluation of vaccines targeting invasive meningococcal disease (IMD). The panel discussed vaccine evaluation methods across countries; IMD prevention benefits that are well quantified using current methods, not well quantified, or missing in current cost-effectiveness methodologies; and development of recommendations for future evaluation methods. Consensus was reached on a number of points and further consideration was deemed necessary for some topics. Experts agreed that the unpredictability of IMD complicates an accurate evaluation of meningococcal vaccine benefits and that vaccine cost-effectiveness evaluations should encompass indirect benefits, both for meningococcal vaccines and vaccines in general. In addition, the panel agreed that transparency in the vaccine decision-making process is beneficial and should be implemented when possible. Further discussion is required to ascertain: how enhancing consistency of frameworks for evaluating outcomes of vaccine introduction can be improved; reviews of existing tools used to capture quality of life; how indirect costs are considered within models; and whether and how the weighting of quality-adjusted life-years (QALY), application of QALY adjustment factors, or use of altered cost-effectiveness thresholds should be used in the economic evaluation of vaccines.
- Bristol Population Health Science Institute