Seasonal influenza infects approximately 10-20% of Canadians each year, causing an estimated 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths annually, mostly occurring in adults ≥65 years old (seniors). A 32,000-participant, randomized controlled clinical trial (FIM12; Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01427309) showed that high-dose inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV-HD) is superior to standard-dose vaccine (SD) in preventing laboratory-confirmed influenza illness in seniors. In this study, we performed a cost-utility analysis (CUA) of IIV-HD versus SD in FIM12 participants from a Canadian perspective. Healthcare resource utilization data collected in FIM12 included: medications, non-routine/urgent care and emergency room visits, and hospitalizations. Unit costs were applied using standard Canadian cost sources to estimate the mean direct medical and societal costs associated with each vaccine (2014 CAD). Clinical illness data from the trial were mapped to quality-of-life data from the literature to estimate differences in effectiveness between vaccines. Time horizon was one influenza season, however, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) lost due to death during the study were captured over a lifetime. A probabilistic sensitivity analysis (PSA) was also performed. Average per-participant medical costs were $47 lower and societal costs $60 lower in the IIV-HD arm. Hospitalizations contributed 91% of the total cost and were less frequent in the IIV-HD arm. IIV-HD provided a gain in QALYs and, due to cost savings, dominated SD in the CUA. The PSA indicated that IIV-HD is 89% likely to be cost saving. In Canada, IIV-HD is expected to be a less costly and more effective alternative to SD, driven by a reduction in hospitalizations.
Keywords: Fluzone; cost-effectiveness; cost-utility; high-dose inactivated influenza vaccine; influenza.