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Keywords:

  • breast cancer;
  • cancer treatment;
  • pharmaco-economic;
  • utility;
  • willingness-to-pay

Abstract

Aims:  To evaluate the inherent value of breast cancer therapy a willingness-to-pay (WTP) study was conducted in Korean patients with metastatic breast cancer.

Methods:  Patients were prospectively enrolled from four study centers and completed quality of life questionnaires to reflect their status pre-cancer and their current health status. Clinical and socioeconomic data were collected to characterize the population and utilize during modeling. Patients' WTP for breast cancer treatment was assessed using an open-ended question following three rounds of bidding to better hone in on their maximal WTP, starting with one of three randomly assigned start bids. Predictors of patient WTP was evaluated using linear regression models. Associations between WTP and other parameters were evaluated with correlations.

Results:  Korean metastatic breast cancer patients were WTP an average of KRW 8 696 329 (US$7555) per month to return to their pre-cancer health state, with those who were recently diagnosed as WTP the most (KRW 12 955 000 [$11 254]). WTP was closely associated with the patient's education level, income, personal financial difficulties, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, and their experience of arm symptoms.

Conclusion:  The results suggest that patients are WTP significant amounts per month for treatment. Breast cancer patients are heavily burdened physically, mentally and financially, and the present study indicated this significant financial burden by disclosing its relationship with WTP. Providing a better understanding of the inherent value of treatment will allow Koreans to better evaluate treatment in the coming era of personalized medicine.