HEDS is part of the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) at the University of Sheffield. We undertake research, teaching, training and consultancy on all aspects of health related decision science, with a particular emphasis on health economics, HTA and evidence synthesis.

Monday 11 August 2014

Value based pricing for vaccines

It’s here!  But is this news?

As reported by Phamafile, the DH is negotiating a price with Novartis for their MenB vaccine Bexsero.  The Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said:

“I recognise that families want to see the vaccination programme introduced quickly, but NHS funds must be used as effectively as possible and it is right we follow due process to make sure this happens. Documents have been sent to Novartis so negotiations can begin, we hope they will work constructively with us to ensure a cost effective price is reached rapidly.”

Image by El Alvi via Flickr CC BY 2.0
Whilst this is a significant departure from NICE’s methods, it is routine for vaccines.  But NICE’s influence may still have a role to play.  The JCVI position statement includes the following:

“The Committee has asked for a working group to be set up to examine and advise the Committee on the most appropriate discounting rate and QALY threshold to be used, which will also consider revised guidance from NICE, expected later in 2014.”

With the effects of serogroup B meningococcus in children including major physical and/or neurological disabilities, it is quite possible that this would be considered a high burden of disease (however that will be defined).  Consequently, a higher funding threshold may be deemed appropriate.  But will the JCVI accept this?