Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Phuc Le: The live attenuated herpes zoster vaccine is approved by the FDA for persons aged 50 years and above. However, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends it for only persons aged 60 years and older. Therefore, we aimed to analyze the vaccine’s cost-effectiveness among persons aged 50-59 years to see if ACIP’s recommendation is reasonable. We found that the vaccine is not cost-effective among people at aged 50 years, having an incremental costs of $323,000 per QALY gained, which is 3 times more than a commonly accepted threshold ($100,000/QALY).
Dr. Phuc Le: The vaccine may be effective to prevent herpes zoster among persons aged 50 years, but the benefit the vaccine brings is small relative to the money spent.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Phuc Le: The study will need to be revisited once we have data on long-term vaccine efficacy in people aged 50-59 years. However, we are unsure when this information would be available.
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Phuc Le, Ph.D., M.P.H. (2015). Herpes Zoster/Shingles Vaccine Not Found Cost Effective In Patients Under 60 MedicalResearch.com