Each Monday our authors present a round-up of a few of the most lately revealed peer reviewed articles from the sphere. We don’t cowl all the things, and even what’s most vital – only a few papers which have the creator. Go to our Sources web page for hyperlinks to extra journals or comply with the HealthEconBot. When you’d like to write down one in every of our weekly journal round-ups, get in contact.

The journal Well being Economics has lately launched a particular online-only concern, which brings collectively beforehand revealed research associated to pandemics. Present occasions are positive to have sparked new curiosity in these research. On this spirit, I’ve chosen research from this particular concern in addition to one other prior pandemic examine for this week’s journal round-up.

Extra influenza hospital admissions and prices as a result of 2009 H1N1 pandemic in England. Well being Economics [PubMed] [RePEc] Printed February 2019

One function of coronavirus pandemic information reporting is the close to real-time replace on numbers of infections, hospital admissions, and deaths. These studies have been adopted by a complicated set of revisions, corrections, and various knowledge sources. The introduction part of this paper reveals that interpretation of previous pandemics may be no much less difficult. Earlier estimates of extra hospital admission and prices from the H1N1 influenza pandemic different 10-fold, even throughout the similar healthcare system.

On this comparatively latest examine the authors tried to estimate, extra robustly, the influence of H1N1 on the healthcare system in England when it comes to hospital admissions and hospital prices. The info used within the examine had been complete. Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) had been accessible for all hospitals for the interval 2004-2011, together with the 2009/2010 pandemic interval.

Information of attainable H1N1 admissions had been recognized utilizing influenza-like-illness (ILI) ICD-10 codes (n≈30,000). Costing of admissions used matched HRG codes. The impact of the pandemic virus was estimated by setting up counterfactual outcomes for comparability. Anticipated admissions and prices for pandemic weeks within the absence of a pandemic had been estimated utilizing a set of seasonal autoregressive built-in shifting common (SARIMA) fashions.

The entire hospital prices of the pandemic within the UK are reported to be roughly £45 million. The authors conclude that earlier research each over- and under-estimated these prices by both overcounting or undercounting respectively. They then take the daring step of offering ‘corrected’ estimates for every earlier examine. I like the creator’s confidence. Nonetheless, whereas I consider their estimates are extra correct, I’m not sure that treating them as ‘floor fact’ and estimating the exact diploma of bias of earlier research is such a good suggestion.

One different curious function additionally stood out on this paper; the unimaginable year-to-year variation in ILI admission even in non-pandemic years. Totally different knowledge inclusion and modelling practices may produce justifiable however completely different outcomes. In assessing admissions and prices of the current pandemic, I hope we are able to acquire a deeper understanding of all these knowledge.

To vaccinate or to procrastinate? That’s the prevention query. Well being Economics [PubMed] [RePEc] Printed December 2016

Vaccination is one other sizzling subject for coronavirus. Excessive uptake of vaccines is vital for attaining the extra advantages from herd immunity. In most international locations, uptake of the annual influenza vaccines is at lower than goal ranges. This paper investigated explanatory components from an economist’s perspective, viewing the choice to vaccinate as an funding.

Three vital options of the choice are specialist information, uncertainty, and the inter-temporal nature of the outcomes. Subsequently, candidate explanatory components are data, threat preferences, and time preferences, respectively. The authors present an attention-grabbing dialogue of threat and time preferences in addition to a easy mannequin of choice making that features each options. Information with which to check the explanatory energy of the varied candidate components come from a cross-sectional survey performed inside a big German medical insurance scheme, which included questions related for every issue in addition to vaccination standing.

In the end, solely data confirmed sturdy predictive energy. Specifically, information that vaccines couldn’t trigger the virus and that side-effects, if any, had been minor. Different components solely predicted vaccination uptake when the evaluation was stratified by gender. As stratification by gender was a post-hoc evaluation, and not likely in keeping with the structural mannequin, these findings appear extra speculative.

I feel this outcome highlights the significance of data asymmetry between specialists and the general public in explaining relative success or failure of public well being measures. Whereas I doubt that anybody will lack sturdy motivation to vaccinate for coronavirus, lack of awareness or misinformation can nonetheless be a strong barrier.

Oseltamivir for influenza in adults and youngsters: systematic evaluation of scientific examine studies and abstract of regulatory feedback. BMJ [PubMed] Printed April 2014

Transparency is the chief advantage of financial analysis in well being. This paper highlights the significance of transparency within the pandemic context. An abundance of scientific trials and different research are at present ongoing for therapy and prevention of COVID-19. Financial analysis of those methods can be required to tell selections about their implementation within the close to future.

Oseltamivir is a drug that has been stockpiled by many international locations in preparation for pandemic influenza. The entire prices of stockpiles run into the billions. Regardless of evident recognition, the efficacy of this follow is very unsure. The proof base has been the topic of main controversy and revision. Many oseltamivir trials weren’t revealed at completion. The outcomes solely grew to become accessible years later after systematic reviewers gained entry to scientific examine studies by means of requests to regulatory businesses. For a extra full historical past see this latest BMJ piece.

This systematic evaluation mixed knowledge from revealed randomised research in addition to unpublished scientific trial studies. In distinction to earlier extra optimistic critiques, this extra complete examine discovered no proof for an impact on hospitalisation, severe influenza problems, or dying. Points had been additionally recognized within the high quality of the proof. Among the many 23 included research there was a excessive prevalence of design options that put the examine at a excessive threat of bias (e.g. solely half the research reported enough allocation concealment). Financial modelling of COVID-19 should guarantee it’s knowledgeable by the totality of the proof. The tempo of analysis could result in compromises in high quality. Incentives for publication bias can be as nice as ever. Transparency in each the scientific proof and financial modelling stays the important thing in avoiding expensive errors.


  • Antony Theobald (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


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