Exploring the use of cost-benefit analysis to compare pharmaceutical treatments for menorrhagia

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  • University of Nottingham

Abstract

Background
The extra-welfarist theoretical framework tends to focus on health-related quality of life, whilst the welfarist framework captures a wider notion of well-being. EQ-5D and SF-6D are commonly used to value outcomes in chronic conditions with episodic symptoms, such as heavy menstrual bleeding (clinically termed menorrhagia). Because of their narrow-health focus and the condition’s periodic nature these measures may be unsuitable. A viable alternative measure is willingness to pay (WTP) from the welfarist framework.
Objective
We explore the use of WTP in a preliminary cost-benefit analysis comparing pharmaceutical treatments for menorrhagia.
Methods
A cost-benefit analysis was carried out based on an outcome of WTP. The analysis is based in the UK primary care setting over a 24-month time period, with a partial societal perspective. Ninety-nine women completed a WTP exercise from the ex-ante (pre-treatment/condition) perspective. Maximum average WTP values were elicited for two pharmaceutical treatments, levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (LNG-IUS) and oral treatment. Cost data were offset against WTP and the net present value derived for treatment. Qualitative information explaining the WTP values was also collected.
Results
Oral treatment was indicated to be the most cost-beneficial intervention costing £107 less than LNG-IUS and generating £7 more benefits. The mean incremental net present value for oral treatment compared with LNG-IUS was £113. The use of the WTP approach was acceptable as very few protests and non-responses were observed.
Conclusion
The preliminary cost-benefit analysis results recommend oral treatment as the first-line treatment for menorrhagia. The WTP approach is a feasible alternative to the conventional EQ-5D/SF-6D approaches and offers advantages by capturing benefits beyond health, which is particularly relevant in menorrhagia.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)957-965
Number of pages9
JournalPharmacoEconomics
Volume33
Issue number9
Early online date25 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015