Poudel N, Banjara B, Kamau S, Frost N, Ngorsuraches S. Factors influencing patients' willingness-to-pay for disease-modifying therapies for multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2021 Feb;48:102720. doi: 10.1016/j.msard.2020.102720

BACKGROUND: High and ever-increasing costs of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) have impaired patient access to DMTs in the US. Patients' willingness-to-pay (WTPs) for DMTs were recently examined, but their influencers were not determined. Thus, the objective of this study was to examine factors influencing patients' WTPs for DMTs for multiple sclerosis (MS).

METHODS: Data were obtained from a previous survey of 1,200 US patients with MS on their preferences and WTPs for DMTs. Patients' characteristics (i.e., age, gender, race, marital status, education, employment status, comorbidity, health status, and health insurance) and their MS experiences (i.e., number of years with MS, MS type, number of relapses, fatigue, mood-change, MS symptom, and DMTs experience) were investigated as influencing factors. Patient's WTP for a DMT was obtained from a direct question in the survey. A two-part model was estimated using logistic regression and generalized linear regression.

RESULTS: Responses from 480 patients were analyzed. Their average age was 53 years old. Most of them were female (79%), white (97%), and married (71%). Approximately 61% of them had a four-year college degree or lower, 54% were either unemployed, retired, or students, 59% were enrolled in private insurance, 81% had at least one comorbid condition, and 73% considered themselves having good or better health status. Approximately 44% had at least one relapse in two years, 89% experienced fatigue, 37% experienced mood-change, and on average had MS for more than 13 years. The majority of them had relapsing-remitting MS (66%), considered themselves to have some levels of disability for MS (78%), and had used or were currently using DMTs (97%). The average WTP for a DMT was $579 per month. Patients with professional degrees, or with one or more comorbid conditions were more likely willing to pay for a DMT. Patients who were white, had a professional degree, or were in fair or better health status were willing to pay a significantly higher amount for a DMT. Patients, who were female, were employed, did not have private insurance, had a higher number of MS experience years, or who experienced mood change were willing to pay significantly less amount for a DMT.

CONCLUSION: Various patients' characteristics and MS experiences, including gender, race, education, employment, health insurance, comorbidity, health status, DMT experience, and mood change influenced patients' WTPs for a DMT.

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