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Perit Dial Int. 2001;21 Suppl 3:S307-13.

The cost barrier to peritoneal dialysis in the developing world--an Asian perspective.

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Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Prince of Wales Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong SAR, PR China.


Countries in Asia vary significantly in culture and socioeconomic status. Dialysis costs and reimbursement structures are significant factors in decisions about the rates and modalities of renal replacement therapy. From our survey of Asian nephrologists conducted in 2001, a number of observations can be made. In many developing countries, the annual cost of continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) is greater than the per-capita gross national income (GNI). The median cost of a 2-L bag of peritoneal dialysis (PD) fluid is around US$5. The absolute cost of PD fluid among countries with significant differences in per-capita GNI actually varies very little. Thus, most renal failure patients can be expected to have problems accessing PD therapy in developing countries in Asia. In countries with unequal reimbursement policies for PD versus hemodialysis, a lack of incentive to prescribe PD also exists. Automated PD is nearly non existent in many developing countries in Asia. Some possible ways to reduce the cost barriers to PD in those countries include individual governments providing more public funding for treating dialysis patients; dialysate-producing companies reducing the cost of their products; physicians using appropriately smaller exchange volumes (3 x 2 L) in some Asian patients with smaller body sizes and with residual renal function; and reducing the complication rate for PD (for example, peritonitis) thereby reducing the costs required for treatment and hospitalization.

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