Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Economic burden of seasonal influenza B in France during winter 2010-2011

Maria Laura Silva12*, Lionel Perrier13, Hans-Martin Späth4, Isidore Grog5, Anne Mosnier2, Nathalie Havet1, Jean Marie Cohen2 and on behalf of the IBGP team

Author Affiliations

1 GATE-UMR CNRS 5824, University of Lyon, University Lumière Lyon 2, Lyon 1, Lyon, France

2 OPEN ROME, Coordination Nationale des Groupes Régionaux d’Observation de la Grippe, Réseau des GROG, Paris, France

3 Cancer and Environment Department, Cancer Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon, France

4 University of Lyon; University Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Lyon EAM 4128, France

5 Collective name of members of GROG network, Paris, France

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BMC Public Health 2014, 14:56  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-56

Published: 20 January 2014



In France, 2–15% of the population is affected annually by influenza, which causes significant socioeconomic disruption. Nevertheless, despite its importance for policy makers, few published studies have evaluated the impact of influenza B. Therefore, we assessed the costs associated with influenza B during 2010–2011 in France.


Cases of lab-confirmed influenza B were analyzed as part of the Influenza B in General Practice Study. Cost calculations were based on micro-costing methods according to the French Health Insurance (FHI) perspective (in Euros, 2011). Costs were compared between age groups using the Kruskal–Wallis test, and when significant, by multiple comparisons based on rank. Moreover, uncertainties were assessed using one-way sensitivity and probabilistic analyses. Overall economic burden was estimated by multiplying cost per patient, flu attack rate, and the French population.


A total of 201 patients were included in the study. We found that the mean cost associated with Influenza B was 72€ (SD: 205) per patient: 70€ (SD: 262) for younger children, 50€ (SD: 195) for older children, 126€ (SD: 180) for adults, and 42€ (SD: 18) for elderly. Thus, we observed significantly different costs between the distinct age groups (p<0.0001). Finally, the economic burden of influenza B for the FHI was estimated to be 145 million Euros (95% CI: 88–201).


Our findings highlight the important impact of influenza B and encourage further investigation on policy regarding vaccination strategies in France.

Medical economics; Cost of illness; Influenza B; France; Health insurance reimbursement