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High cost rules out NIPT as 1st test for Down syndrome (SPH)

High cost rules out NIPT as 1st test for Down syndrome (Photo credit Lab Pulse)

Investigators at St. Paul’s Hospital and at the University of British Columbia, both located in Vancouver, developed a microsimulation decision-analytic model that they used to perform a probabilistic cost-effective analysis (CEA) of prenatal screening and diagnostic strategies for Down syndrome — the most common fetal chromosomal abnormality. For the analysis, they assumed a price of $490 for NIPT and they considered a wide range of factors, including testing accuracy, the cost of consultations, and the need for follow-up tests.

Compared with contingent NIPT (NIPT as a second-tier screening test to follow up on a questionable finding with a traditional test), universal NIPT as a first-tier screening test is not cost-effective at its current price, senior author and health economist Aslam Anis, PhD, director of the Centre for Health Evaluation & Outcome Sciences (CHÉOS) at the University of British Columbia, and colleagues wrote. This conclusion is based on an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of more than $100,000 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY). Moreover, contingent NIPT also had the lowest cost per case of Down syndrome.

Click here to read the full story in the Lab Pulse.

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