Cost-effectiveness of In Vitro Fertilization
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In vitro fertilization (IVF) is an effective but underutilized treatment for long-standing infertility. The median projected cost per IVF cycle in 2001 in the United States would be $9226 and $3531 in 25 other countries, based on previously published estimates. The cost per delivery arising from IVF cycles in 2001 in the United States would average $56,419, and $20,522 in eight other countries, based on previously published estimates. The cost-effectiveness of IVF has not been proven in three randomized controlled trials, but these trials are difficult to design and implement. Multiple gestation births significantly increase the cost of IVF treatment. IVF multiple births cost 36% more than the IVF cycles that gave rise to the multiple births. The uptake of IVF in most countries falls short of the minimum 1500 cycles per annum that would be needed per million population. Comparative international data indicate that infertile couples would increase their uptake of IVF services if the price were lower.
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