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Cost benefits of an artificial kidney

Narrator:        This is Science Today. A nationwide team working on an artificial kidney is hoping to not only improve health with their device, but decrease costs at the same time. Bioengineer Shuvo Roy of the University of California, San Francisco, is leading the team to develop an innovative, implantable Renal Assistance Device, or iRAD.

Roy:    In this project, the cost decrease comes almost immediately because we are going to provide many of the benefits of transplant without the cost of the transplant drugs, eliminating the costs associated with dialysis.  So, from that $75,000 per patient for dialysis will probably be at most the cost for a transplant patient — $25,000 or even less because we won't have to rely on those medications. Obviously there's some projections here but we feel very encouraged as a team. 

Narrator:        The Food and Drug Administration is encouraged by their work, too. The FDA recently tapped the artificial kidney project as one of the first projects to undergo a more accelerated review and approval process. This can benefit patients sooner. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.