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Cost-Benefit Estimation of Cadaveric Kidney Transplantation, the Case of a Developing Country

Background: In this paper we have estimated the cost savings for the health care system and quality-of-life improvement for patients from an increased number of kidney transplants in Chile. We compared the present value of dialysis and transplantation costs and quality of life over a 20-year horizon. Methods: We used Markov models and introduced some degree of uncertainty in the value of some of the parameters that built the model. Using Monte Carlo simulations, we estimated the confidence intervals for our results. Results: Our estimates suggested that a kidney transplant showed an expected savings value of US$28,000 for the health care system. If the quality-of-life improvement was also considered, the expected savings rise to US$ 102,000. These results imply that increasing donation rate by 1 donor per million population would achieve an estimated cost saving of US$827,000 per year, or near US$3 million per year considering the effect on the quality of life.