Cost‐benefit analysis of a national screening programme for cystic fibrosis in an israeli population

Gary Ginsberg*, Hannah Blau, Eitan Kerem, Chaim Springer, Bat‐Sheba ‐S Kerem, Edna Akstein, Alan Greenberg, Ami Kolumbos, Devorah Abeliovich, Eli Gazit, Jacob Yahav

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

The recently acquired ability to identify 97% of CF carriers in an Israeli Ashkenazi population, prompts an evaluation of a nationwide screening programme. In 1993, the programme would first screen and counsel 9,261 parents, then 396 spouses of carrier parents and finally screen 16.5 fetuses where both parents are carriers. Assuming 92% of screened parents choose abortion of fetus screened positive, 2.33 cases of CF will be prevented in 1993 at a direct cost of $781,000. The $326,000 direct costs of preventing a CF case, exceed the lifetime excess direct costs per case of $297,000. However, benefits of screening also accrue to subsequent pregnancies, resulting in a direct benefit ($14.45 million) to cost ($10.39 million) ratio of 1.39/1 for the period 1993–2032. When benefits and costs resulting from mortality changes, work absences and transport costs are included, the benefit ($15.95 million) to cost ($13.88 million) ratio falls to 1.15/1. Benefit‐cost ratios are lower for other ethnic groups in Israel, due to lower carrier rates and lower mutation detection abilities. A CF screening programme will increase the freedom of individuals choice, but should be carried out carefully in order to minimize stigmatization and even discrimination against CF carriers.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)5-23
Number of pages19
JournalHealth Economics (United Kingdom)
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1994

Keywords

  • Cystic fibrosis
  • cost‐benefit analysis
  • genetical screening

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