Economics of Life Sciences

Economics of Life Sciences

Conceptualizing and monetizing the full economic and social benefits of vaccines is currently the centerpiece of DfD’s life sciences practice. DfD analyses show that economists and policymakers have routinely failed to account for the full benefits of vaccine programs, suggesting these programs have been substantially undervalued and that many decisions regarding vaccination adoption and scale-up, and investment in vaccine discovery and development, have not been well founded.

One key premise of DfD analyses is that vaccine costs are not properly judged as being high or low without reference to vaccine benefits. A second key premise is that the data analyses conducted to assess and compare vaccine costs and vaccine benefits have to be customized to key features of epidemiological, economic, institutional, and country contexts, and to the nature and quality of the data at hand. Failures here, which abound in the published and gray literature, undermine the validity of many data analyses and the conclusions they reach.

DfD is actively engaged in several pioneering efforts to value vaccines in ways faithful to well-established principles of finance and economics. DfD also seeks to raise awareness about the appropriate use of benefit-cost and return-on- investment estimates in making rational policy decisions about including particular vaccines in national immunization programs and reimbursing their cost to end users.

DfD’s efforts in this practice area are supported by a superlative team of health, labor, public finance, and development economists, econometricians and data scientists, and public health specialists.