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Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2006 Nov;15(6):593-8.

The economics and ethics of kidney transplantation: perspectives in 2006.

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Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.



The field of kidney transplantation has made impressive progress, which has led to marked improvements in both patient and allograft survival. The economic and ethical consequences of these advances have recently garnered increasing attention in the medical literature. This review highlights key articles published in 2005 and 2006.


Major areas of focus in the health economics literature pertaining to kidney transplantation include the most cost-effective strategies for immunosuppressive therapies, the management of posttransplant complications, and the optimal utilization of the current pool of deceased-donor kidneys. Ethical challenges include various aspects of living donation, strategies to expand the donor pool, and the impact of financial policies for immunosuppressive agents on long-term patient and allograft survival.


Given the rising demand for kidney transplantation within a setting of scarce resources, the economic and ethical dimensions of transplant medicine are of increasing interest to patients, providers, and payers. Research in these areas will help uncover ways to utilize this important medical technology in the most ethical and cost-effective manner.

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