- AAP —
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- RSV —
- respiratory syncytial virus
As licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration, “palivizumab is indicated for the prevention of serious lower respiratory tract disease caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in pediatric patients at high risk of RSV disease”.1 The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Infectious Diseases has endeavored to provide pediatricians and other health care providers with guidance for determining who is at high risk for RSV disease since palivizumab was first licensed in 1998.2 Over the years, evidence has accumulated regarding the risk of RSV hospitalization and the AAP guidance for palivizumab use has become more restrictive. The most recent recommendations,3 published in 2014, removed otherwise healthy preterm infants born at or after 29 weeks of gestation from the high-risk groups recommended to receive palivizumab prophylaxis.
In this issue of Pediatrics, Farber et al4 provide data from nine Medicaid managed care health programs in Texas supporting the 2014 recommendation. The investigators evaluated the effect of palivizumab administration on hospitalization for bronchiolitis with or without an RSV diagnosis among healthy preterm infants born at 29 to 36 weeks of gestation during their first RSV season occurring in 2012, 2013, or 2014.4 These infants did not have conditions known to increase hospitalization rates for RSV, specifically, chronic lung disease of prematurity or congenital heart disease. Although the recommendations to limit use of palivizumab in healthy preterm infants were released in July 2014, the Texas Medicaid program did not fully adopt them until 2015. Interestingly, even though they would have qualified under previous guidelines, the majority of the infants in the Farber study4 evaluated from 2012 to 2014, did not have paid claims for palivizumab. Overall, …
Address correspondence to Carrie L. Byington, MD, HA and Edna Benning Presidential Professor of Pediatrics, Associate Vice President for Faculty and Academic Affairs, University of Utah Health Sciences Center, 26 2000 East HSEB, Suite 5515, Salt Lake City, UT. E-mail: