Is Cord Blood Banking Cost Effective?

Well, everyone’s entitled to his or her opinion…

A study by the University of California, San Francisco, that will be published in October, uses a type of quantitative analysis called “decision analysis” to determine the effectiveness of private cord blood banking.

The study determines that it is not. Hmmm.

The technique used in the study only evaluates absolute cost and the probability of a family using the cord blood, based upon the currently available treatments, and crunches out a conclusion that, on average, if private cord blood banking costs $242, or if a family has a determined history of a treatable disease, then banking cord blood is “cost effective.”


Of course, if private cord blood banks only charged $242 for processing and storage, they would not be in business, meaning that the small number of children who’s lived have been saved might not have had the futures they now possess. So, yes, perhaps by paying private cord blood banks we keep them in business, and therefore, allow them to serve families (maybe mine) if needed.

That seems worth it, doesn’t it?

In addition, so many researchers are working with cord blood right now, there is no way to imagine what cord blood may be used for in the future. As new treatments are discovered using cord blood, the likelihood of needing it increases.

One point about money: the study is based on facts related to private cord blood banking, namely cost and usage, as follows:

“The decision-analytic model used by the research team included four baseline assumptions: a cost of $3,620, the lowest price quoted from major blood banking company web sites, for umbilical cord blood banking and storage for 20 years; a .04 percent chance of requiring an autologous (self) or stem cell transplant; a .07 percent chance of a sibling requiring an allogenic (from another person) stem cell transplant; and a 50 percent reduction in risk of graft-versus-host disease if a sibling receives a transplant of banked umbilical cord blood cells.”

Anyone who’s studied private cord blood banking costs knows that M.A.Z.E. Cord Blood Laboratories charges $2010 for processing and 20 years of storage. So much for flawless research…

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