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Willingness to pay for a reduction in mortality risk after a myocardial infarction: an application of the contingent valuation method to the case of eplerenone.

Author(s): Pinto-Prades JL, Farreras V, de Bobadilla JF

Affiliation(s): Department of Economics, Ctra. Utrera s/n, University Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla, 41089, Spain. jlpinto@upo.es

Publication date & source: 2008-02, Eur J Health Econ., 9(1):69-78. Epub 2007 Apr 20.

In order to allocate health care resources more efficiently, it is necessary to relate health improvements provided by new medicines to their cost. It is necessary to ascertain when the additional cost of introducing a new health technology is justified by the additional health gain produced. Eplerenone is a new medicine that reduces the risk of death after myocardial infarction (MI) but produces additional cost to the health system. The contingent valuation approach can be used to measure the monetary value of this risk reduction and to estimate society's willingness to pay (WTP) for a new medicine that reduces the risk of death after MI by 2% points. We used a contingent valuation approach to evaluate WTP amongst members of the general population. We used the ex-ante and the ex-post approach. In the ex-ante approach, subjects are asked if they would accept an increase in their taxes in order to have access to eplerenone should they need it in the future. In the ex-post approach, subjects are asked if they would pay a certain amount of money as co-payment per month during 5 years if they suffered an MI. We used the dichotomous choice method, using five bids in each approach. The WTP was estimated using both single-bound and double-bound dichotomous choice (SBDC, DBDC). Extensive piloting (n = 187) preceded the final survey (n = 350). The WTP in the ex-ante case was euro 58 per year under both SBDC and DBDC. In the ex-post case, monthly WTP was euro 141 for the SBDC and euro 85 for the DBDC. Subjects with higher income and subjects with a higher perception of risk showed a higher WTP (P 0.05). Society is willing to pay an additional amount of money in order to give eplerenone to present and future patients. We estimate that euro 85 per month is a conservative estimate of the monetary value of a 2% risk reduction in mortality after MI and to spend this additional amount of money in Eplerenone can be considered an efficient policy.

Page last updated: 2008-06-22

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