Engineering the economic value of two pediatric combination vaccines

Sheldon H. Jacobson, Edward C. Sewell, Tamana Karnani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Combination vaccines for pediatric immunization have become an effective means to reduce the number of separate injections required to immunize children according to the United States Recommended National Childhood Immunization Schedule. This paper reports the results of using operations research methodologies to analyze the price and value of two pentavalent combination vaccines for pediatric immunization: diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis, hepatitis B, inactivated polio (DTPa-HBV-IPV) and diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type B, inactivated polio (DTPa-HIB-IPV). These two combination vaccines are analyzed both individually and head-to-head, as a function of the cost of administering (or avoiding) an injection and the number of doses of the vaccine required to be in the lowest overall cost vaccine formulary. The main contribution of the paper is to provide a methodology for analyzing the impact of combination vaccines on pediatric vaccine formularies. This analysis shows that the DTPa-HBV-IPV vaccine may provide a good value at the current federally negotiated price of $32.75 for a wide spectrum of health-care environments, though the actual number of injections that it reduces may be fewer than the optimistic numbers claimed by its manufacturer. The analysis also shows that if the DTPa-HIB-IPV vaccine is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), then under current market prices, it may need to be priced below the sum of its vaccine component prices to favorably compete with the DTPa-HBV-IPV vaccine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-40
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Care Management Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2005


  • Combination vaccines
  • Economics
  • Immunization
  • Operations research
  • Pediatric vaccine formularies
  • Pentavalent vaccines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Health Professions


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