Background: Physicians have several treatment options for influenza, including vaccination and various antiviral therapies. However, the optimal influenza prevention and treatment strategy is unknown. Objective: To compare the relative health values of contemporary treatment strategies for influenza in a healthy sample of working adults. Design: Cost-benefit analysis using a decision model. Data Sources: Previously published data. Target Population: Healthy employed adults 18 to 50 years of age. Time Horizon: A complete influenza season. Perspective: Societal. Interventions: Eight treatment options (yes or no) based on the possible combinations of vaccination and antiviral therapy (rimantadine, oseltamivir, or zanamivir or no treatment) should infection develop. Outcome Measures: Cost in U.S. dollars, including the value of symptom relief and medication side effects, which was assigned a monetary value through a conjoint analysis that used a "willingness-to-pay" approach. Results: In the base-case analysis, all strategies for influenza vaccination had a higher net benefit than the nonvaccination strategies. Vaccination and use of rimantadine, the most cost-beneficial strategy, was $30.97 more cost-beneficial than nonvaccination and no use of antiviral medication. The health benefits of most antiviral treatments equaled or exceeded their costs for most scenarios. The choice of the most cost-beneficial antiviral strategy was sensitive to the prevalence of influenza B and to the comparative workdays gained by each antiviral therapy. Conclusions: Vaccination is cost-beneficial in most influenza seasons in healthy working adults. Although the benefits of antiviral therapy for persons with influenza infection appear to justify its cost, head-to-head trials of the various antiviral therapies are needed to determine the optimal treatment strategy.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Annals of internal medicine|
|State||Published - Aug 20 2002|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine