Cost-Effectiveness of Rabies Post Exposure Prophylaxis in Iran

Nahid Hatam, Firooz Esmaelzade, Alireza Mirahmadizadeh, Khosro Keshavarz, Abdolhalim Rajabi, Parvin Afsar Kazerooni, Marzieh Ataollahi


Background: The rabies is one of the most important officially-known viral zoonotic diseases for its global distribution, outbreak, high human and veterinary costs, and high death rate and causes high economic costs in different countries of the world every year. The rabies is the deadliest disease and if the symptoms break out in a person, one will certainly die. However, the deaths resulting from rabies can be prevented by post-exposure prophylaxis. To do so, in Iran and most of the countries in the world, all the people who are exposed to animal bite receive Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) treatment. The present survey aimed to investigate the cost-effectiveness of PEP in southern Iran.

Methods: The present study estimated the PEP costs from the government`s Perspective with step-down method for the people exposed to animal bite, estimated the number of DALYs prevented by PEP in the individuals using decision Tree model, and computed the Incremental cost-effectiveness Ratio. The information collected of all reported animal bite cases (n=7111) in Fars Province, who referred rabies registries in urban and rural health centers to receive active care. Performing the PEP program cost estimated 1,052,756.1 USD for oneĀ  year and the estimated cost for the treatment of each animal bite case and each prevented death was 148.04 and 5945.42 USD, respectively. Likewise 4,509.82 DALYs were prevented in southern Iran in 2011 by PEP program.

Results: The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for each DALY was estimated to be 233.43 USD. In addition to its full effectiveness in prophylaxis from rabies, PEP program saves the financial resources of the society, as well.

Conclusions: This study showed performing PEP to be more cost-effective.


Cost-effectiveness analysis; Rabies; post-exposure prophylaxis; DALY

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