Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Human cells and tissues: the need for a global ethical framework

Jean-Paul Pirnay, Alain Vanderkelen, Martin Zizi, Daniel De Vos, Thomas Rose, Geert Laire, Nadine Ectors & Gilbert Verbeken

Volume 88, Number 11, November 2010, 870-872

Table 1. Comparison of prices for human cell and tissue products: Belgium (2010) and United States of America (2000)

Human cell and tissue product Belgium – mainly hospital-based tissue establishments and reimbursement system (Euros)a United States of America – free market with corporate tissue establishments (US$)b
Skin of one donor (5 000 cm2), processed into dermal matrix for burn surgery 6 300 30 0002
Skin of one donor, processed into collagen suspensions for cosmetic procedures No reimbursement 36 0002
Skin of one donor, processed into dermal matrix for plastic surgery 6 300 120 0002
Keratinocyte culture (150 cm2) 869 2 4753
Heart valve 3 547 7 0004
Femoral vein (25 cm) 482 3 5004
Saphenous vein (25 cm) 482 3 5004
Cornea 1 245 3 0004
Sclera (4 fragments) 350 1 0004
Pelvis (half) 2 069 10 0004
Femur head 311 9004
Hip socket 1 293 1 2004
Femur (> 25 cm) 1 552 3 3804
Humerus (> 25 cm) 1 552 3 3109
Tibia (> 25 cm) 1 552 5 5004
Radius (10–25 cm) 1 293 1 9504
Ulna (10–25 cm) 1 293 1 8804
Knee cartilage 1 810 7 0004
Patella 311 5254
Powdered bone 233 (> 3 cm3) 5 000 (100 cm3)4
Chondrocyte culture (one application) 2 069 10 0004
Quadriceps tendon 1 035 2 0004
Patella tendon 1 035 2 5004

a Prices are from 2010. They are indexed and published in a ministerial decree that also fixes the prices of lyophilization (€ 25.86 per tissue) and WHO approved prion- and virus-inactivation techniques (€ 103.44 per tissue).

b Prices are from 2000 when € 1 was roughly equivalent to US$ 1.

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