Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Test-tube Babies Profitable Business For The State, Swedish Study Shows

Date:
December 1, 2008
Source:
Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council)
Summary:
Increased financial support for IVF fertilization would be downright profitable for the state according to Swedish research. Test-tube babies are an investment for the future, not an expense.

Increased financial support for IVF fertilization would be downright profitable for the state. Test-tube babies are an investment for the future, not an expense. This is shown by Anders Svensson, who studied this issue in a bachelor’s thesis in economics at Lund University School of Economics and Management in Sweden.

In many countries in Europe, too few children are being born for the population to replace itself. In the future this can entail major problems when it comes to financing health care and pensions, for example. In Greece, Italy, and Spain roughly 1.3 children are born per woman, and in Sweden the figure is 1.88. At the same time, in Sweden, for instance, some 10–20 percent of all couples are unable to have children for various reasons, even though they wish to.

“Subsidized in vitro fertilization is not a total solution for aging populations, but it is part of a strategy. And it’s important to have plan to make Sweden and other countries better able to deal with the future,” says Anders Svensson, today a medical student, who is the lead author of the article and who was prompted by a suggestion from the American think tank Rand to look at state-subsidized IVF treatment.

The author of the article points out that there are great regional differences in Sweden today when it comes to how easy it is to get access to county-subsidized in vitro fertilization. Certain county councils will not pay if the couple already has children; some pay for two attempts only, and others for three attempts.

“Actually roughly half of all test-tube fertilizations are paid for out of pocket, which means that only those who can afford it can undergo IVF treatment.”

In the longer term the state benefits from subsidizing the costs of test-tube children for couples that are involuntarily childless.

“This is a group that could potentially help boost population growth. Our calculations show that in a long-term perspective in vitro fertilization doesn’t cost the state anything at all since the state actually sees a return on its investment in the form of the tax monies the individual will pay during his or her lifetime.”

Anders Svensson uses a scenario where every test-tube baby is an average person in terms of longevity and income, for example. The study is based on a net present value calculation, which factors in inflation and other parameters. If the state invests in a test-tube baby today, that investment today is worth SEK 254,000, calculated only on what the individual will pay in income tax and value-added tax – other taxes have not been counted, which means that the state’s profit per individual is likely underestimated.

“The effect on the Swedish population curve is comparable to raising state child allowances by 25 percent, but at a lower cost.”

In other countries, IVF children are probably even more profitable, since Sweden has a relatively costly welfare system. In a similar calculation based on British conditions, two co-authors of the article in SJPH, Federico Callo, Rand, and Mark Connolly, Global Market Access Solutions, have found that every IVF child yields a profit of GBP 160,069.

“The difference can largely be explained by the fact that schooling, elderly care, and health care are relatively higher costs for the Swedish state than for the UK state. In other words, the Swedish welfare system is more expensive, which reduces the profits,” says Anders Svensson.

One third of all inhabitants in Europe will be older than 65 years old in 2050, compared with every sixth person today.

“If we want to maintain our various welfare systems as they look today, we need to reverse the downward population trend, since in the future fewer and fewer working people will be supporting more and more old people.”

Increased subsidization would moreover reduce some of the personal suffering that comes from wanting to have children, but not being able to.

“Test-tube fertilization differs from all other medical treatment. It creates life instead of extending life. This is unique,” says Anders Svensson.

Besides those already mentioned, Leif Hägglund, IVF Clinic, Öresund, is a co-author of the article in SJPH.

Journal reference: Anders Svensson, Mark Connolly, Federico Gallo, and Leif Hägglund. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, Nov 2008; vol. 36: pp. 841 - 849


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council). "Test-tube Babies Profitable Business For The State, Swedish Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081201082350.htm>.
Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council). (2008, December 1). Test-tube Babies Profitable Business For The State, Swedish Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081201082350.htm
Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council). "Test-tube Babies Profitable Business For The State, Swedish Study Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081201082350.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) — The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) — A new study finds children are prescribed antibiotics twice as often as is necessary. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:  

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile iPhone Android Web
      Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins