Measuring Treatment Preferences and Willingness to Pay for Docetaxel in Advanced Ovarian Cancer
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Background: Docetaxel is an equally active alternative to paclitaxel in advanced ovarian cancer but has a different adverse effect profile. Whilst paclitaxel is associated with less haematological toxicity, such as febrile neutropenia and anaemia, docetaxel causes less sensory and motor neuropathy.
Objective: To measure the economic value and preference scores for docetaxel as an alternative to paclitaxel in patients with advanced ovarian cancer.
Design and setting: A cost-benefit analysis using a consumer-based willingness-to-pay (WTP) approach was conducted. The study population consisted of a patient surrogate sample comprised of 80 oncology pharmacists and nurses from eight Canadian provinces. Background information on ovarian cancer was provided including its current management, and differences in adverse effects between docetaxel and paclitaxel. Respondents were then asked what their preferred product would be if they were diagnosed with ovarian cancer and how much they would be willing to pay per cycle for six cycles in the form of a co-payment (i.e. user’s fee) for the product of their choice. The maximum willingness to pay for docetaxel was then compared against the incremental cost (acquisition and administration) of the drug.
Study perspective: Canadian healthcare system perspective.
Main outcome measures and results: The WTP survey instrument was simple to administer and easily understood by participants. Respondents ranked motor neuropathy as being the most unpleasant adverse effect of treatment. Of the sample, 63.8% preferred to use docetaxel instead of paclitaxel (p = 0.075). The patient surrogate sample was willing to pay a mean of 64 Canadian dollars ($Can; 2003 values) [95% CI $Can33, $Can92] per cycle for the benefits offered by docetaxel as an alternative to paclitaxel. This estimate was marginally lower than the incremental cost of $Can87 per cycle of docetaxel.
Conclusion: A substantial portion of Canadian patients with ovarian cancer would likely prefer to be treated with docetaxel instead of paclitaxel for the management of their disease and would be willing to pay a portion of the incremental cost. Therefore, both options should be offered to patients, and selection of treatment can be based on reducing the risk of the toxicity that concerns the patient the most.
KeywordsOvarian Cancer Paclitaxel Docetaxel Febrile Neutropenia Incremental Cost
The authors would like to express their gratitude to the local investigators who administered the questionnaire. This study was funded by Aventis Pharma Inc. The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this study.
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