Investment decisions in influenza pandemic contingency planning: cost-effectiveness of stockpiling antiviral drugs
Background: The threat of an influenza pandemic has led to stockpiling of antiviral drugs in order to mitigate a plausible outbreak. If the stockpile would be used in relation to the recent pandemic alert, an investment decision about renewing the stock for a possible subsequent pandemic is essential. The decision should include cost-effectiveness considerations. Methods: We constructed a cost-effectiveness analysis in the Dutch context, explicitly including risk of an outbreak. Outcomes from a dynamic transmission model, comparing an intervention with a non-intervention scenario, were input in our health economic calculations. Results: Stockpiling was cost-effective from the health-care perspective if the actual risk is 37% for 30 years. If less than 60% of the population would take the antiviral drugs or the attack rate is about 50%, the investment would not be cost-effective from this perspective. Conclusion: Risk perception, realistic coverage among population and size of a pandemic are crucial parameters and highly decisive for the investment decision.