I'm just looking for some opinions here prior to writing a longer analysis - feel free to chime in with your thoughts no matter your background! I'm at least as interested in the diversity of opinion as finding the best answer.
EAs who are into global health often compare proposed interventions to GiveWell's cost per life saved via Against Malaria Foundation ($4,500/life saved).
In the USA, dialysis and kidney transplants are both funded by the US government, and they are both very expensive. Kidney transplants are typically considered less expensive overall and lead to longer, healthier lives. The bottleneck is the supply of kidneys for transplant. One possible intervention is for a nonprofit advocacy group to focus on shifting the medical establishment to view payment for kidneys as an ethical option (I have much to say on this subject, but that's for another post).
If EA managed to effect this change, would we consider the QALYs/lives saved as being effectively "free," less the cost of operating the advocacy group, since the US government is already footing the bill of this form of medical care, and the cost of transplants + paying for kidney is likely to be cheaper than the cost of dialysis?
Right now, I estimate that if there was an unlimited supply of ethically sourced vended organs, perhaps 10,000 lives could be saved per year. If a charity could accomplish this on less than $45 million/year, then that would be on par with Against Malaria Foundation. This is what's motivating me to investigate this question, but I want to know what other EAs think about how to parse the cost-effectiveness question.
Thanks for your input!