Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) is working with Office of Health Economics Consulting (OHE consulting) and Pfizer to compare the ways different countries make decisions about which vaccines to offer.
It comes after a long awaited vaccine that protects against meningococcal group B meningitis and septicaemia (MenB) was licensed in 2010, but as of 2018 has only been routinely implemented in four countries worldwide.
Following a delay by the UK government on whether the MenB vaccine should be made routinely available on the NHS, MRF has had concerns about whether vaccine decision making processes are fair, especially for vaccines that prevent rare and severe illness in children.
As a result of these concerns, MRF has worked with Pfizer and OHE Consulting Ltd to develop research which compares international decision making processes, frameworks and methodologies across several different countries and asks whether decision making is consistent and fair, especially in the context of meningococcal vaccines.
The objectives of the research carried out by OHE, are:
- To document the current evidence base that is available to inform decisions about whether to introduce meningococcal vaccines.
- To summarise the specific decision making criteria for vaccine introduction in a number of countries, as well as the methodology used to inform decisions about introducing meningococcal vaccines.
- To suggest new criteria and improvements in methodologies given the nature of the benefit derived from meningococcal vaccines.
The research was discussed amongst experts in at a meeting convened by MRF and Pfizer.
The aims of the meeting were:
- To explore the value placed on health and life by society.
- Explore existing decision making criteria for meningococcal vaccines.
- Discuss factors that should be considered in future decision making frameworks.
- Identify existing research which can be used to inform future evaluations.
- Identify gaps in research which need to be filled to strengthen future meningococcal vaccine evaluations.
The report from OHE will be published soon along with outcomes from the expert meeting.