Thursday, 22 January 2015

What Is the Cost of Cartistem?

You are probably reading these lines because you are interested in learning the costs of having the cartistem stem cell treatment. Unfortunately, giving an exact price is difficult as it depends on many factors, like the severity of your arthritis, how many knees you are getting done etc.

In general, cartistem is a relatively expensive treatment that is yet not covered by insurance companies. Expect to pay somewhere in the $20,000* range for the standard treatment and an additional $10,000 for every extra treatment. This price is only for one knee and doesn't include hospital stay (~1 week), airplane tickets, food expenses and anything else that might come up. Please note that the cartistem procedure is for now available exclusively in South Korea.

For hospital rooms expect to pay something within the following range
  • Semi-private room - KRW 320,000 (~320 $) per night
  • Standard single room KRW 550,000 (~550 $) per night
  • Deluxe suite -KRW 1,000,000 (~1,000 $) per night

What Is Cartistem?
CARTISTEM® is a allogeneic stem cell based treatment that is available in South Korea by Dong-A Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. It has been approved by the Korean FDA (KFDA) and it has also received US FDA clearance to conduct Phase I/IIa clinical trials in the United States. Cartistem is essentially a stem cell product that puts a new twist to microfracture, an old but relatively effective method for treating cartilage defects. It contains mesenchymal stem cells obtained from umbilical cord blood. These stem cells have a very unique characteristic of not provoking an immune response when administered into another individual.

cartilage regeneration before and after cartistem stem cells
Before and after the cartistem stem cell treatment

Is Cartistem Worth its Price?
Currently there are very little clinical data to say with a definety whether or not cartistem is worth spending all this money, especially if you are from the U.S where there are many other more researched options that are also covered by insurance. Some of these are Denovo NT and autologous chondrocyte Implantation. Having said that, all current data indicate that Cartistem is safe and more effective than microfracture.

* Please have in mind that costs given above are just rough estimations. Do get a price tailored to your case or for any other questions please contact the company directly. 

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