Eliciting the Monetary Value of a Quality-Adjusted Life Year in a Greek Outpatient Department in Times of Economic Austerity

from PharmacoEconomics – Open at http://bit.ly/2rjLM0o on May 31, 2017 at 07:09AM


Background and objective

Contingent valuation is widely used to determine individuals’ willingness to pay (WTP) for a health gain. Our study aimed to elicit an empirical estimate of the monetary value of a quality-adjusted life year (QALY) in a Greek outpatient setting in times of economic austerity and assess the impact of patients’ characteristics on their valuations.


We used a questionnaire as a survey tool to determine the maximum WTP for a health gain of a hypothetical therapy and to evaluate patients’ health-related quality of life (EuroQoL-5D-3L) and demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. EuroQoL tariffs were used to estimate health utilities. Mean WTP values were computed and ordinary least squares regressions performed on transformed Box-Cox and logarithmic dependent WTP per QALY variables to remedy observed skewness problems.


Analyses were performed for 167 patients with utility values less than unity. Mean WTP per QALY reported was similar for both payment vehicles examined: payments made out-of-pocket (€2629) and payments made through new tax imposition (€2407). Regression results showed that higher net monthly family income was associated with higher WTP per QALY for both payment vehicles. Moreover, the presence of a chronic condition and higher level of education were associated with higher out-of-pocket WTP per QALY and WTP per QALY through taxes, respectively.


The very low WTP per QALY estimates could be explained by the recent severe economic depression and austerity in Greece. In fact, family income was found to be a significant predictor of WTP per QALY. Since these estimates deviate significantly from the cost-effectiveness thresholds still employed in economic evaluations in this country, research should be undertaken promptly to further examine this important issue using a nationwide representative sample of the general population along with WTP and other methodologies.