Objective: Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhea in children. Two rotavirus vaccines (RotaTeq and Rotarix) have been licensed in Taiwan. We have investigated whether routine infant immunization with either vaccine could be cost-effective in Taiwan. Methods: We modeled specific disease outcomes including hospitalization, emergency department visits, hospital outpatient visits, physician office visits, and death. Cost-effectiveness was analyzed from the perspectives of the health care system and society. A decision tree was used to estimate the disease burden and costs based on data from published and unpublished sources. Results: A routine rotavirus immunization program would prevent 146,470 (Rotarix) or 149,937 (RotaTeq) cases of rotavirus diarrhea per year, and would prevent 21,106 (Rotarix) and 23,057 (RotaTeq) serious cases (hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and death). At US$80 per dose for the Rotarix vaccine, the program would cost US$32.7 million, provided an increasing cost offset of US$19.8 million to the health care system with $135 per case averted. Threshold analysis identified a break-even price per dose of US$27 from the health care system perspective and US$41 from a societal perspective. At US$60.0 per dose of RotaTeq vaccine, the program would cost US$35.4 million and provide an increasing cost offset of US$22.5 million to the health care system, or US$150 per case averted. Threshold analysis identified a break-even price per dose of US$20.0 from the health care system perspective and $29 from the societal perspective. Greater costs of hospitalization and lower vaccine price could increase cost-effectiveness. Conclusions: Despite a higher burden of serious rotavirus disease than estimated previously, routine rotavirus vaccination would unlikely be cost-saving in Taiwan at present unless the price fell to US$41 (Rotarix) or US$29 (RotaTeq) per dose from societal perspective, respectively. Nonetheless, rotavirus immunization could reduce the substantial burden of short-term morbidity due to rotavirus.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases