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Isr J Med Sci. 1995 Aug;31(8):492-6.

Cost analysis of in vitro fertilization.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel.


In vitro fertilization (IVF) has become a routine tool in the arsenal of infertility treatments. Assisted reproductive techniques are expensive, as reflected by the current "take home baby" rate of about 15% per cycle, implying the need for repeated attempts until success is achieved. Israel, today is facing a major change in its health care system, including the necessity to define a national package of health care benefits. The issue of infertility and whether its treatment should be part of the "health basket" is in dispute. Therefore an exact cost analysis of IVF is important. Since the cost of an IVF cycle varies dramatically between countries, we sought an exact breakdown of the different components of the costs involved in an IVF cycle and in achieving an IVF child in Israel. The key question is not how much we spend on IVF cycles but what is the cost of a successful outcome, i.e., a healthy child. This study intends to answer this question, and to give the policy makers, at various levels of the health care system, a crucial tool for their decision-making process. The cost analysis includes direct and indirect costs. The direct costs are divided into fixed costs (labor, equipment, maintenance, depreciation, and overhead) and variable costs (laboratory tests, chemicals, disposable supplies, medications, and loss of working days by the couples). The indirect costs are the costs of premature IVF babies, hospitalization of the IVF pregnant women in a high risk unit, and the cost of complications of the procedure. According to our economic analysis, an IVF cycle in Israel costs $2,560, of which fixed costs are about 50%. The cost of a "take home baby" is $19,267, including direct and indirect costs.

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