A review of economic analysis in the vaccination program; decision making and governance: Adivisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)

Varsha Vakil, The University of Texas School of Public Health


The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) develops written recommendations for the routine administration of vaccines to children and adults in the U.S. civilian population. The ACIP is the only entity in the federal government that makes such recommendations. ACIP elaborates on selection of its members and rules out concerns regarding its integrity, but fails to provide information about the importance of economic analysis in vaccine selection. ACIP recommendations can have large health and economic consequences. Emphasis on economic evaluation in health is a likely response to severe pressures of the federal and state health budget. This study describes the economic aspects considered by the ACIP while sanctioning a vaccine, and reviews the economic evaluations (our economic data) provided for vaccine deliberations. A five year study period from 2004 to 2009 is adopted. Publicly available data from ACIP web database is used. Drummond et al. (2005) checklist serves as a guide to assess the quality of economic evaluations presented. Drummond et al.'s checklist is a comprehensive hence it is unrealistic to expect every ACIP deliberation to meet all of their criteria. For practical purposes we have selected seven criteria that we judge to be significant criteria provided by Drummond et al. Twenty-four data points were obtained in a five year period. Our results show that out of the total twenty-four data point‘s (economic evaluations) only five data points received a score of six; that is six items on the list of seven were met. None of the data points received a perfect score of seven. Seven of the twenty-four data points received a score of five. A minimum of a two score was received by only one of the economic analyses. The type of economic evaluation along with the model criteria and ICER/QALY criteria met at 0.875 (87.5%). These three criteria were met at the highest rate among the seven criteria studied. Our study findings demonstrate that the perspective criteria met at 0.583 (58.3%) followed by source and sensitivity analysis criteria both tied at 0.541 (54.1%). The discount factor was met at 0.250 (25.0%). Economic analysis is not a novel concept to the ACIP. It has been practiced and presented at these meetings on a regular basis for more than five years. ACIP‘s stated goal is to utilize good quality epidemiologic, clinical and economic analyses to help policy makers choose among alternatives presented and thus achieve a better informed decision. As seen in our study the economic analyses over the years are inconsistent. The large variability coupled with lack of a standardized format may compromise the utility of the economic information for decision-making. While making recommendations, the ACIP takes into account all available information about a vaccine. Thus it is vital that standardized high quality economic information is provided at the ACIP meetings. Our study may provide a call for the ACIP to further investigate deficiencies within the system and thereby to improve economic evaluation data presented.

Subject Area

Economics|Health sciences|Public policy

Recommended Citation

Vakil, Varsha, "A review of economic analysis in the vaccination program; decision making and governance: Adivisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)" (2010). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1479398.