Cost-effectiveness of inhaled oxytocin for prevention of postpartum haemorrhage: a modelling study applied to two high burden settings

A recent article by Dr Natalie Carvalho from the Centre for Health Policy and colleagues at the Nossal Institute for Global Health, in collaboration with Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, has been published in the BMC Medicine.

This article modelled the cost-effectiveness of a heat-stable, non-injectable inhaled oxytocin product, for the prevention of postpartum haemorrhage in two high burden settings, Bangladesh and Ethiopia.

The authors find that use of inhaled oxytocin would be cost-saving in Bangladesh, and could avert an estimated 18,644 cases of postpartum haemorrhage, or 76 maternal deaths, and 1954 life years lost. The majority of health gains would occur among home deliveries where inhaled oxytocin would replace current use of misoprostol. In Ethiopia, with high levels of institutional delivery and low rates of uterotonic coverage among home deliveries, inhaled oxytocin could avert up to 3111 cases of postpartum haemorrhage, or 30 maternal deaths. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of a roll-out of inhaled oxytocin fell between 2 and 3 times per capita Gross Domestic Product.

This study demonstrates the importance of a country’s unique policy environment (resulting in distinctions in delivery location and uterotonic coverage), on the health gains and cost-effectiveness of implementation of inhaled oxytocin for prevention of postpartum haemorrhage.

Further details and access to the (open access) article can be found here.