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BMJ. 1995 Dec 2;311(7018):1460-3; discussion 1463-4.

Cost effectiveness of antenatal screening for cystic fibrosis.

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  • 1Centre for Reproduction, Growth and Development, Research School of Medicine, University of Leeds, UK.

Erratum in

  • BMJ 1995 Dec 16;311(7020):1608.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To estimate the cost effectiveness of different antenatal screening programmes for cystic fibrosis.

SETTING:

Antenatal clinics and general practices in the United Kingdom.

DESIGN:

Four components of the screening process were identified: information giving, DNA testing, genetic counselling, and prenatal diagnosis. The component costs were derived from the literature and from a pilot screening study in Yorkshire. The cost of a given screening programme was then obtained by summing the components according to the specific screening strategy adopted (sequential and couple), the proportion of carriers detected by the DNA test, and the uptake of screening. Baseline assumptions were made about the proportion with missing information on carrier status from previous pregnancies (20%), the proportion changing partners between pregnancies (20%), and the uptake of prenatal diagnosis (100%). Sensitivity analysis was performed by varying these assumptions.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Cost per affected pregnancy detected.

RESULTS:

Under the baseline assumptions sequential screening costs between pounds 40,000 and pounds 90,000 per affected pregnancy detected, depending on the carrier detection rate and uptake. Couple screening was more expensive, ranging from pounds 46,000 to pounds 104,000. From the sensitivity analysis a 10% change in the assumed proportion with missing information from a previous pregnancy alters the cost by pounds 4000; a 10% change in the proportion with new partners has a similar effect but only for couple screening; and cost will change directly in proportion to the uptake of prenatal diagnosis.

CONCLUSIONS:

While economic analysis cannot determine screening policy, the paper provides the NHS with the information on cost effectiveness needed to inform decisions on the introduction of a screening service for cystic fibrosis.

PMID:
8520332
PMCID:
PMC2543729
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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