Grace M, Colosia A, Wolowacz S, Panozzo C, Ghaswalla P. Economic burden of respiratory syncytial virus infection in adults: a systematic literature review. J Med Econ. 2023 May 11;26(1):742-59. doi: 10.1080/13696998.2023.2213125

AIMS: Capture the economic and healthcare resource utilization (HCRU) burden in older adults due to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection.

METHODS: An electronic literature search of PubMed, Embase, the Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, and EconLit was conducted for studies of the cost and HCRU outcomes of RSV infection in adult patients, with no language or country restrictions. Search dates for primary studies were January 1, 2002-May 18, 2022. The methodological quality of included studies was assessed using a modification of the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) checklist for economic studies and the Drummond checklist.

RESULTS: 42 studies were identified that reported cost or HCRU data associated with RSV infections, with geographic locations across North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. Generally, hospitalization costs were highest in the United States (US). Driving factors of increased cost included older age, comorbidities, and length of stay. US studies found that the national direct cost burden of RSV hospitalizations was $1.3 billion for all adults and $1.5-$4.0 billion for adults aged ≥60 years (estimates for other countries were not identified). Studies estimating incremental costs for RSV cases versus controls and costs pre- and post-RSV infection demonstrated higher costs for RSV cases. Hospitalizations accounted for the majority of total costs. Evidence Limitations and Gaps: The variability in definitions of cost outcomes, age groups, study seasons, and geographic locations was prohibitive of a meta-analysis and comparisons across studies. Cost and HCRU data were limited per country outside the US, per comorbidity, and in settings other than inpatient setting. Only 1 study reported indirect costs, and only the US had national cost burden data.

CONCLUSION: Despite several data gaps, the economic burden of RSV infections on healthcare systems and payers was found to be substantial, globally, underscoring the need for RSV preventive strategies for reducing this burden.

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