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Transpl Int. 2003 May;16(5):321-6. Epub 2003 Mar 1.

Cost-benefit approach in evaluating investment into donor action: the German case.

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Donor Action Foundation, Prinsendreef 10, 3210, Linden, Belgium.


Donor Action (DA) is an international initiative to help critical care units (CCUs) increase their own donation rates through improved-quality donation practices. Following a validated diagnostic review (DR), areas of weakness can be identified, and the appropriate changes introduced. Data gathered from a number of centers in nine European countries (including Germany) 1 year after the introduction of targeted improvement measures demonstrated a 59.2% (P=0.0015) increase in donation rates. This analysis computes the cost-benefit thresholds of implementing the DA methodology from a German health-economic point of view, taking into account the treatment alternatives for end-stage renal disease (dialysis and transplantation) and comparing the DA program with current organ-donation practice. Lifetime direct medical costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) were calculated for both arms, considering only changes in cadaveric renal transplantation rates. If DA leads to a 59% overall increase in organ donation in Germany, the program will result in 33 QALYs and 1.8-million euro cost savings per million population (PMP). Therefore, DA would be cost-effective below 2.66-million euro implementation cost PMP (or 218-million euro for the whole country). As the partial implementation cost of the program was far below the threshold, DA is more cost-effective than other publicly reimbursed medical intervention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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