Impact of using the International Risk Scoring Tool on the cost-utility of palivizumab for preventing severe respiratory syncytial virus infection in Canadian moderate-to-late preterm infants Journal Articles uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: To assess the cost-utility of palivizumab versus no prophylaxis in preventing severe respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection in Canadian moderate-to-late preterm (32-35 weeks' gestational age) infants using an (i) International Risk Scoring Tool (IRST) and (ii) Canadian RST (CRST). METHODS: A decision tree was developed to assess cost-utility. Infants assessed at moderate- and high-risk of RSV-related hospitalization (RSVH) by the IRST or CRST received palivizumab or no prophylaxis and then progressed to either (i) RSVH; (ii) emergency room/outpatient medically attended RSV-infection (MARI) or (iii) were uninfected/non-medically attended. Infants admitted to intensive care could incur mortality (0.43%). Respiratory morbidity was accounted in all uninfected surviving infants for 6 years or 18 years (RSVH/MARI). Palivizumab efficacy (72.2% RSVH reduction) and hospital outcomes were from the Canadian CARESS, PICNIC and RSV-Quebec studies. Palivizumab costs (50 mg: CAN$752; 100 mg: $1,505) were calculated from Canadian birth statistics combined with a growth algorithm. Healthcare/payer and societal costs (May 2022; 1.5% discounting) were included. RESULTS: Cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) was $29,789 with the IRST (0.79 probability of being <$50,000) and $15,833 with the CRST (0.96 probability). The model was most sensitive to utility scores, long-term sequelae and palivizumab cost. Vial sharing improved the incremental cost-utility ratio (IRST: $22,319; CRST: $9,231). CONCLUSIONS: Palivizumab was highly cost-effective (vs no prophylaxis) in Canadian moderate-to-late preterm infants using either the IRST or CRST. The IRST has fewer risk factors than the CRST (3 vs 7, respectively), captures more potential RSVHs (85% vs 54%) and provides another option to guide cost-effective RSV prophylaxis in Canada.


  • Rodgers-Gray, Barry S
  • Fullarton, John R
  • Carbonell-Estrany, Xavier
  • Keary, Ian P
  • Tarride, Jean-Éric
  • Paes, Bosco

publication date

  • December 31, 2023