Schiewe M.C.,1 Gibbs C.,2 Whitney J.B.,1 Jones A.,2 Freeman M.R.,2 and S. Zozula1
1Ovation Fertility, Newport Beach, California
2Ovation Fertility, Nashville, Tennessee
Objective: We aimed to critically evaluate the cost benefits of a clinically proven non-commercial, aseptic closed VTF system to other commonly used open/hybrid VTF devices, and discuss the importance of cost-savings in today’s assisted reproductive technology (ART) industry.
Design: Theoretical modeling of 500 PGS/VTF-all cycles was prospectively evaluated to assess costs comparing the use of a non-commercial microSecure (µS) VTF device system to three common commercial systems: Cryolock (CL), Rapid-i (R-i) and High Security Straws (HSV) VTF devices. In the analysis, we assumed a mean of 5 blastocysts biopsied per cycle yielding 2 euploid embryos for 2 vitrified ET (VFET) cycles. Media and solution costs were excluded.
Materials and methods: Costs were calculated based on protocol and prices used within our laboratory network. The CL VTF procedure used: 5 x CLs ($15.00×5=$75.00), 2 x Stripper tips ($6.17×2=$12.34) and 2 x 4 well dishes ($2.42×2=$4.84). Conversely, the µS-VTF protocol used: 5 x CBS semen/embryo straws ($2.75×5=$13.75), flexipettes ($4.00×6=$24.00) and 2 x 100mm dishes ($0.25×2=$0.50). In considering the potential use of R-i or HSV devices commonly used in the industry, we simply replaced the CL model with higher device costs ($22.50×5=$112.50). Warming costs are particularly low with the µS-VTF technique as the embryo already resides in a flexipette, requiring only: 60 mm warming dishes ($0.25×2=$0.50) and 6-well dilution dishes ($1.40×2=$2.80). Cryolock warming costs required: Stripper tips ($6.17×8=$49.36), organ well dishes ($1.70×2=$3.40), and 4-well dishes ($2.42×2=$4.84).
Results: The application of the µS-VTF offers significant cost-savings compared to our commercial use of CL devices (see Table). Based on our theoretical model(500 cycles), a total savings of up to $64,275 can be achieved depending on the commercial VTF device used.
|Costs ($) / VTF Devices:||µS||CL||R-i or HSV|
|VTF / cycle||38.25a||92.18 b||112.50|
|Warming / 2 VFET||3.30 a||57.60 b||59.00|
|Subtotal / cycle||41.55 a||149.78 b||170.10|
|Total / 500 cycles||20,775 a||74,890 b||85,050|
|Cost Savings(-) or Increase(+) ($)||– 54,115||0||+ 10,160|
|a, b – column values within rows with different superscripts are different (p<0.05; t-test).|
Conclusion: Although VTF expenses represent a fraction (<10%) of a laboratory’s revenue gained from blastocyst biopsy and cryopreservation, the potential savings generated using µS-VTF could support an entry level Reproductive Biologist’s annual salary over 500 VFET cycles. Cost matters in today’s IVF business, as long as success is not compromised.