INTRODUCTION: In Germany, a 23-valent polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccine (PPSV23) is recommended for elderly (60+) and patients 16+ with chronic diseases not associated with immune suppression. For all other patients at risk, sequential immunization with a 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) first, followed by PPSV23 is recommended. Repeated vaccination with PPSV23 is recommended every 6 years after individual assessment by the physician. This was adopted into the vaccination directive with binding reimbursement and funding. However, additional voluntary services allow statutory health insurances to differentiate from each other. Aim of this study is to estimate the cost-effectiveness of voluntary service scenarios compared to the strategy in place to support informed decision making.
METHODS: A microsimulation framework with Markov-type process of a population susceptible to pneumococcal disease over a lifetime horizon was developed to compare effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of different vaccination strategies. We simulated 1,000 iterations for seven scenarios. Assumptions were derived from published literature and probabilistic sensitivity analysis was run to show the robustness of the model.
RESULTS: Our study indicates that all voluntary service strategies could prevent further clinical cases compared to the existing policy. Depending on the scenario, 48–142 invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD), 24,000–45,000 hospitalized all-cause nonbacteremic pneumonia (NBP), 15,000–45,000 outpatient NBP cases, and 4,000–8,000 deaths could be avoided on average. This refers to potential savings of €115 Mio. – €187 Mio. for medical and non-medical costs. Additional costs per patient for the payer are €2.48 to €7.13 and for the society €2.20 to €6.85. The ICER per LYG ranged from €3,662 to €23,061 (payer) and €3,258 to €29,617 (societal). All but one scenario was cost-effective in ≥60% of the generated 1,000 simulations.
CONCLUSIONS: Compared to the vaccination strategy in place, the different hypothetical scenarios can be considered cost-effective and suitable as additional voluntary services.