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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The cost-effectiveness of IVF in the UK: a comparison of three gonadotrophin treatments.

BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of women undergoing IVF treatment with recombinant FSH (rFSH) in comparison with highly purified urinary FSH (uFSH-HP) and human menopausal gonadotrophins (HMG). METHODS: A decision-analytic model was used to estimate cost-effectiveness ratios for 'the average cost per ongoing pregnancy' and 'incremental cost per additional pregnancy' for women entering into IVF treatment for a maximum of three cycles. The model was constructed based on a previously published large prospective randomized clinical trial comparing rFSH and uFSH-HP. Where necessary, these data were augmented with a combination of expert opinion, evidence from the literature and observational data relating to the management and cost of IVF treatment in the UK. The cost of rFSH, uFSH-HP and HMG were obtained from National Health Service list prices in the UK. RESULTS: The model predicted a cumulative pregnancy rate after three cycles of 57.1% for rFSH and 44.4% for both uFSH-HP and HMG. The cost of IVF treatment was 5135 pounds sterling for rFSH, 4806 pounds sterling for uFSH-HP and 4202 pounds sterling for HMG. When assessed in association with outcomes, the average cost per ongoing pregnancy was more favourable with rFSH (8992 pounds sterling) than with either uFSH-HP (10 834 pounds sterling) or HMG (9472 pounds sterling). The incremental cost per additional pregnancy was 2583 pounds sterling using rFSH instead of uFSH-HP and 7321 pounds sterling using rFSH instead of HMG. These results were robust to changes in the baseline assumptions of the model. CONCLUSION: rFSH is a cost-effective treatment strategy in ovulation induction prior to IVF.[1]


  1. The cost-effectiveness of IVF in the UK: a comparison of three gonadotrophin treatments. Sykes, D., Out, H.J., Palmer, S.J., van Loon, J. Hum. Reprod. (2001) [Pubmed]
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