latest health care news

27.02.18

Consultation into vaccine cost-effectiveness launched after long delayed CEMIPP publication

A consultation has been launched into the cost effectiveness of immunisations, the Department of Health and Social care has announced.

The 12-week consultation will seek views on the recommendations made in the ‘Cost-effectiveness methodology for immunisation programmes and procurements’ (CEMIPP) 2016 report.

In 2016 a petition signed by over 820,000 people was submitted to the petitions and health committees, calling for the meningitis B vaccine to be given to all children following the death of a two-year old who died from the disease having been too old to receive the vaccine.

The committees called for the publication of the CEMIPP 2016 report, which the government agreed to do by the end of that year, although it has only been published this week.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is an independent expert committee that advised on the introduction of new, and changes to existing, vaccination programmes in the UK.

JVCI asked for a review of the methodology used to appraise the cost-effectiveness of vaccination programmes, and the Department of Health and Social Care’s appraisal alignment working group (AAWG) was asked to provide a view before the CEMIPP report was published.

This view was received at the end of January 2018.

Included in the report is the recommendation to lower the cost-effectiveness threshold from £20,000 per quality adjusted life year (QALY) to £15,000 per QALY, which has triggered concerns it could make it more difficult for new vaccines to be approved.

Helen Jones, chair of the petitions committee, said that the petition is the third largest that the parliamentary e-petitions site has ever seen, demonstrating the importance of the issue to the public.

Jones added: “It was clear from the evidence that we heard in 2016 that there are serious questions to answer about the way the government decides which vaccines are cost-effective.

“The government itself recognises this—it set up its own working group to investigate.”

She continued: “These may sound like technical issues, but they’re key to decisions that could save children’s lives.”

Health and social care under-secretary Steve Brine is due to be questioned about the delays to the publication of the CEMIPP report in parliament this afternoon.

“The committee will want to find out from the minister why the government is dragging its feet on something so important,” concluded Jones.

The consultation will close on 21 May 2018.

Top image: Imgorthand

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