Objective: To estimate the pharmacoeconomic impact for the French Social Security System of preventing recurrent acute rhinopharyngitis (RARP) in at-risk children with OM-85 BV, an immunostimulating agent indicated for the prevention of recurrences.
Design: A decision-analysis model. The probability of progression of the infection and of its associated care, the principal direct costs linked to them, and the effectiveness of OM-85 BV were established or calculated by reviewing the available literature (published between 1984 and 2000). Four experts validated the parameters and the model.
Results: For the French Social Security System, the mean direct cost for an acute rhinopharyngitis (ARP) infection was 49.39 Euro(2000 values). By using OM-85 BV prevention, 1.52 infections were prevented in 6 months saving 67.83 Euro on the costs of care for the recurrently infected child. Sensitivity analyses confirmed the robustness of the model and indicated a saving of between 6.28 Euro and 303.64 Euro in direct costs for each individual treated preventively. Threshold analyses showed that OM-85 BV prophylaxis is economically profitable if more than 0.15 infections are prevented and if direct costs of care of an ARP are greater than 4.78 Euro.
Conclusion: Non-specific immunotherapy should be considered for the child at risk of RARP and administered in addition to other recommended measures. The economic savings for the community of using a medication for which the clinical effectiveness has been demonstrated should also be taken into account in assessing its usefulness.