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Palivizumab for preterm infants. Is it worth it?

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Nicholas EmbletonORCiD, Dr Christian Harkensee, Dr Michael McKean


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Respiratory syncytial virus infection is an important cause of morbidity. Although palivizumab prophylaxis is widely used, it is uncertain whether the cost is justified. A systematic review was therefore performed of the safety, efficacy, and the likely cost effectiveness of prophylaxis for preterm infants in the United Kingdom using a standard search strategy. The only randomised controlled trial identified showed a reduction in hospital admission but no benefit on more serious outcomes. None of the United Kingdom cost studies showed economic benefit for palivizumab prophylaxis. New treatments are rarely cost effective, and, in the absence of a comprehensive economic assessment, continued use for high risk infants may appear justified.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Embleton ND, Harkensee C, Mckean MC

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Archives of Disease in Childhood: Fetal and Neonatal Edition

Year: 2005

Volume: 90

Issue: 4

Pages: F286-F289

ISSN (print): 1359-2998

ISSN (electronic): 1468-2052


DOI: 10.1136/adc.2004.058081

PubMed id: 16036888