Societal preferences for rheumatoid arthritis treatments: evidence from a discrete choice experiment.

Mark Harrison, Carlo Marra, Kam Shojania, Nick Bansback

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    OBJECTIVE: There is a concern that cost-effectiveness analysis using quality-adjusted life years does not capture all valuable benefits of treatments. The objective of this study was to determine the value society places on aspects of RA treatment to inform policymaking. METHODS: A discrete choice experiment was administered to a representative sample of the Canadian general population. The discrete choice experiment, developed using focus groups, had seven attributes (route and frequency of administration, chance of benefit, chance of serious and minor side effects, confidence in evidence and life expectancy). A conditional logit regression model was used to estimate the significance and relative importance of attributes in influencing preferences on the quality-adjusted life years scale. RESULTS: Responses from 733 respondents who provided rational responses were analysed. Six attribute levels within four attributes significantly influenced preferences for treatments: a willingness to trade a year of life expectancy over a 10-year period to increase the probability of benefiting from treatment, or two-thirds of a year to reduce minor or serious side effects to the lowest level or improve the confidence in benefit/side-effect estimates. There was also some evidence of a preference for oral drug delivery, though a subgroup analysis suggested this preference was restricted to injection-naive respondents. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest society values the degree of confidence in the estimates of risks and benefits of RA treatments and the route of administration, as well as benefits and side effects. This study provides important evidence to policymakers determining the cost-effectiveness of treatments in arthritis.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalRheumatology (Oxford, England)
    Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2015


    • arthritis
    • biologics
    • decision making
    • discrete choice experiment
    • health economics
    • mode of administration
    • preference
    • risk-benefit assessment
    • societal preferences


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