Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Prioritizing vaccine development

Written By: Jason Shafrin - Jun• 22•16

For which diseases should vaccines be developed?  Although ideally the answer is “all of them”, given that there are limited resources in the world, which diseases should be prioritized?  The Institute of Medicine’s Strategic Multi-Attribute Ranking Tool for Vaccines (SMART Vaccines) tool is one effort to make such prioritization explicit based on fixed attributes.   The attributes are the following.

Health Considerations
  • Premature Deaths Averted per Year
  • Incident Cases Prevented per Year
  • QALYs Gained or DALYs Averted
Economic Considerations
  • Net Direct Costs (Savings) of Vaccine Use per Year
  • Workforce Productivity Gained per Year
  • One-Time Costs
  • Cost-Effectiveness ($/QALY or $/DALY)
Demographic Considerations
  • Benefits Infants and Children
  • Benefits Women
  • Benefits Socioeconomically Disadvantaged
  • Benefits Military Personnel
  • Benefits Other Priority Population
Public Concerns
  • Availability of Alternative Public Health Measures
  • Potential Complications Due to Vaccines
  • Disease Raises Fear and Stigma in the Public
  • Serious Pandemic Potential
Scientific and Business Considerations
  • Likelihood of Financial Profitability for the Manufacturer
  • Demonstrates New Production Platforms
  • Existing or Adaptable Manufacturing Techniques
  • Potential Litigation Barriers Beyond Usual
  • Interests from NGOs and Philanthropic Organizations
Programmatic Considerations
  • Potential to Improve Delivery Methods
  • Fits into Existing Immunization Schedules
  • Reduces Challenges Relating to Cold-Chain Requirements
Intangible Values
  • Eradication or Elimination of the Disease
  • Vaccine Raises Public Health Awareness
Policy Considerations
  • Interest for National Security, Preparedness, and Response
  • Advances Nation’s Foreign Policy Goals
User-Defined Attributes
  • Up to Seven Attributes

Users can prioritize which attributes are the most important.  Do you agree with this list?  Which attributes would be most important to you if you were a policymaker?

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One Comment

  1. European laboratories launched its roadmap until 2036 priority therapeutic vaccines.

    Basically this is based on 3 points:

    – The industry strategy was launched during a meeting in the European Parliament with the three MEPs responsible for the Public Health European People’s Party

    – The industry encourages the interest of venture capital to invest more in the development of therapeutic vaccines prophylactic vaccines

    – The main objective of therapeutic vaccines is to educate the immune system so it can respond powerful and effective against the virus

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