Too pricey: Govt rejects meningococcal vax

The committee, which vetoed the manufacturer's first submission at its November 2013 meeting, also said the re-submission failed to address “multiple uncertainties” about the vaccine’s clinical effectiveness.

Though it agreed with the manufacturer’s claim that it is effective in inducing antibodies against the component antigens of the vaccine, it said that in the context of a population-based program, the claim was “highly uncertain” because of the likely short persistence of the antibody response.

In modelling submitted to the PBAC, the manufacturer projected that approximately 336 invasive meningococcal disease cases would be avoided over five years if the vaccine was listed. It said 10,532 individuals would need to be fully vaccinated to avoid one case over the same period. Approximately 13 deaths would be avoided over five years, and to avoid one death approximately 272,224 individuals would need to be fully vaccinated.