Higher cost of implementing Xpert® MTB/RIF in Ugandan peripheral settings: Implications for cost-effectiveness

E. Hsiang, K. M. Little, P. Haguma, C. F. Hanrahan, A. Katamba, A. Cattamanchi, J. L. Davis, A. Vassall, D. Dowdy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


SETTING: Initial cost-effectiveness evaluations of Xpert® MTB/RIF for tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis have not fully accounted for the realities of implementation in peripheral settings. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate costs and diagnostic outcomes of Xpert testing implemented at various health care levels in Uganda. DESIGN: We collected empirical cost data from five health centers utilizing Xpert for TB diagnosis, using an ingredients approach. We reviewed laboratory and patient records to assess outcomes at these sites and 10 sites without Xpert. We also estimated incremental cost-effectiveness of Xpert testing; our primary outcome was the incremental cost of Xpert testing per newly detected TB case. RESULTS: Themean unit costofanXpert testwas US$21 based on a mean monthly volume of 54 tests per site, although unit cost varied widely (US$16-58) and was primarily determined by testing volume. Total diagnostic costs were 2.4-fold higher in Xpert clinics than in nonXpert clinics; however, Xpert only increased diagnoses by 12%. The diagnostic costs of Xpert averaged US$119 per newly detected TB case, but were as high as US$885 at the center with the lowest volume of tests. CONCLUSION: Xpert testing can detect TB cases at reasonable cost, but may double diagnostic budgets for relatively small gains, with cost-effectiveness deteriorating with lower testing volumes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1212-1218 and i
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Molecular diagnostic techniques
  • Routine
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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