© 2016 Lee, Park.This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Background: To tackle the high prevalence of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in North Korea, it is essential that birth doses of HBV vaccines should be administered within 24 hours of birth. As the country fails to provide a Timely Birth Dose (TBD) of HBV vaccine, the efforts of reducing the high prevalence of HBV have been significantly hampered. Methods: To examine the cost-effectiveness of vaccination strategies to prevent perinatal transmission of HBV in North Korea, we established a decision tree with a Markov model consisting of selective, universal, and the country's current vaccination program against HBV. The cost-effectiveness analysis was performed from societal and payer's perspectives and evaluated by Disability Adjusted Life Year (DALY). Results: The results suggest that introducing the universal vaccination would prevent 1, 866 cases of perinatal infections per 100, 000 of the birth cohort of 2013. Furthermore, 900 cases of perinatal infections per 100, 000 could be additionally averted if switching to the selective vaccination. The current vaccination is a dominated strategy both from the societal and payer's perspective. The Incremental Cost-Effectiveness Ratio (ICER) between universal and selective vaccination is $267 from the societal perspective and is reported as $273 from the payer's perspective. Conclusion: Based on the assumption that the 2012 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in North Korea, $582.6 was set for cost-effectiveness criteria, the result of this study indicates that selective vaccination may be a highly cost-effective strategy compared to universal vaccination.
Lee, D., & Park, S. M. (2016). Cost-effectiveness analysis of Hepatitis B vaccination strategies to prevent perinatal transmission in North Korea: Selective vaccination vs. universal vaccination. PLoS ONE, 11(11). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0165879