The cost of measles in industrialised countries

H. Carabin*, W. J. Edmunds, M. Gyldmark, P. Beutels, D. Lévy-Bruhl, H. Salo, U. K. Griffiths

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    The aim of this study is to estimate the costs of measles and measles control in 11 industrialised countries with varying levels of measles vaccine coverage. Country-specific annual incidence of measles, measles immunization policy, coverage and costs data were collected. The average societal costs of measles cases and immunisation programme per capita were calculated. These 11 countries spend together over US$ 151 million every year to treat and control measles. Per capita costs of measles control tend to be higher in countries with poorer measles control programmes (for instance, Italy has the highest incidence and highest overall costs), though many other factors, such as the number of antigens given per clinic visit and the local price of MMR also affect the efficiency of the programme. The costs estimates presented here can be used to estimate potential savings that might accrue from changes to measles control programmes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4167-4177
    Number of pages11
    Issue number27-30
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2003

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    The authors wish to thank the following people for providing local health costs and epidemiological data: Dr. Susan Van Den Hof for all health costs and epidemiological data in The Netherlands, Dr. Annette Siedler for the costs of GP visits, the price of drugs and vaccines and epidemiological data in Germany, Annette Hartvi Christiansen from the Department of Epidemiology of the Danish Ministry of Health for the incidence of measles and vaccine coverage data, the Hvidovre hospital for information on the cost of hospitalisation in Denmark, Anne Hvenegaard, Danish Institute for Health Service Research (DSI) for the cost of residential care in Denmark, the Statens Serum Institute, Sales Department for the price of MMR in Denmark, Dr. Laakkonen for the average cost of residential care in Rinnekoti, Finland, Dr. Tuija Leino for the cost of MMR vaccines and delivery in Finland. We would also like to thank Van Hung Nguyen for his help in finding references for Canadian data. WHO European Office provided financial support for data collection. Hélène Carabin received personal support from the Wellcome Trust and WHO. Philippe Beutels is supported by a research grant from the Flemish Fund for Scientific Research (FWO no. G.0023.01). John Edmunds is funded by the UK Medical Research Council (G9818303).


    • Cost analysis
    • Industrialised countries
    • Measles


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