Economic benefits and costs associated with target vaccinations

J Manag Care Pharm. 2007 Sep;13(7 Suppl B):S12-5. doi: 10.18553/jmcp.2007.13.s7-b.12.


Background: As a therapeutic class, vaccines are generally considered to be the health care intervention that provides the best value. In the pharmacoeconomic study of vaccines, it is common for researchers to conduct their analyses from a societal perspective, including direct medical costs as well as indirect costs.

Objective: To discuss the data elements of pharmacoeconomic analyses of vaccines and review recently published analyses of emerging vaccines.

Summary: Myriad pharmacoeconomic analyses of vaccines currently in use have been conducted with varying results. A number of products, such as the diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis, hepatitis B, and varicella vaccines, have been shown to be cost-effective from a societal perspective. Yet, other products, such as the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, have demonstrated less benefit than the cost of their respective vaccination programs. In general, these analyses can be used as a starting point to frame the benefits of specific vaccines in managed care with a balanced view of the necessary societal perspectives. To date, 6 pharmacoeconomic models have evaluated vaccination against human papillomavirus, with all demonstrating some cost benefit when the vaccine was used in female patients who fell within the indicated age range.

Conclusions: In general, as a therapeutic class, vaccines are extremely cost-effective agents. In addition, they are one of the few public health interventions that may directly lower medical costs. In conducting pharmacoeconomic analyses for agents in this class, researchers must consider costs incurred at both the health system and societal levels, as well as cost savings realized through the prevention of disease.

MeSH terms

  • Communicable Disease Control / economics
  • Communicable Disease Control / methods*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Drug Costs
  • Economics, Pharmaceutical
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs / economics
  • Models, Economic*
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / economics*
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • Vaccines / economics*
  • Vaccines / therapeutic use


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines
  • Vaccines