The role of economies of scale in the cost of dialysis across the world: a macroeconomic perspective.

Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation

PubMedID: 24516226

Karopadi AN, Mason G, Rettore E, Ronco C. The role of economies of scale in the cost of dialysis across the world: a macroeconomic perspective. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2014;29(4):885-92.
BACKGROUND
The treatment of chronic kidney disease through dialysis is a considerable expense in most health systems. The two chief methods of providing dialysis, haemodialysis (HD) and peritoneal dialysis (PD) have significant differences in cost composition and factors of production. The aim of this article is to identify and quantify the macroeconomic variables that influence the relative cost of such modalities across different countries.

METHODS
From previously published literature, we extracted the estimates of HD/PD cost ratios in a total of 46 countries. We conducted a multivariate regression analysis using the estimated HD/PD cost ratio in each country, with several countrylevel indicators as explanatory variables. We found a strong statistical effect of the following variables on the HD/PD cost ratio: country's level of development, economies of scale and percentage of private health-care expenditure.

RESULTS
The statistical effects on HD/PD ratio by local manufacturing and relaxed import regulation of PD equipment were calculated and were found to be very significant.

CONCLUSIONS
it is possible for a country to still reap the benefits of economies of scale in provision of PD, even in the absence of a large enough market to make local production of PD equipment feasible in that country.