This article provides an overview of the clinical profile of rotavirus vaccine RIX4414 (Rotarix™) in the prevention of rotavirus gastroenteritis (RVGE) in developing countries, followed by a review of pharmacoeconomic analyses with the vaccine in low- and middle-income countries.
RVGE is associated with significant morbidity and mortality among children <5 years of age in developing countries. The protective efficacy of a two-dose oral series of rotavirus vaccine RIX4414 has been demonstrated in several well designed clinical trials conducted in developing countries, and the ‘real-world' effectiveness of the vaccine has also been shown in naturalistic and case-control trials after the introduction of universal vaccination programs with RIX4414 in Latin American countries. The WHO recommends universal rotavirus vaccination programs for all countries.
Numerous modelled cost-effectiveness analyses have been conducted with rotavirus vaccine RIX4414 across a wide range of low- and middle-income countries. Although data sources and assumptions varied across studies, results of the analyses consistently showed that the introduction of the vaccine as part of a national vaccination program would be very cost effective compared with no rotavirus vaccination program, according to widely used cost-effectiveness thresholds for developing countries. Vaccine price was not known at the time the analyses were conducted and had to be estimated. In sensitivity analyses, rotavirus vaccine RIX4414 generally remained cost effective at the highest of a range of possible vaccine prices considered. Despite these favorable results, decisions regarding the implementation of universal vaccination programs with RIX4414 may also be contingent on budgetary and other factors, underscoring the importance of subsidized vaccination programs for poor countries through the GAVI Alliance (formerly the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization).