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Treatment Preferences for Acute Allergic Reactions: A Discrete Choice Experiment

Löfvendahl S, Andersson E, Olofsson S, Wahlberg K, Bjermer L, Tornling G, Hjelmgren J

Timely treatment of acute allergic reactions (AARs) is important to minimize reaction severity. Corticosteroid tablets dissolved in water are commonly used in mainstay treatment. Poor compliance is a common problem as patients often forget to bring their medication and thus do not have it available in the acute situation. A new oral film that dissolves on the tongue provides a faster and less cumbersome alternative to tablets for corticosteroid administration during AARs. This study evaluated patients’ preferences for attributes related to administration mode of corticosteroids in AARs.

A survey was sent to a sample from the adult Swedish population with experience of corticosteroid treatment for AAR. We assessed the willingness to pay (WTP) for attributes related to corticosteroid treatment by applying a discrete choice experiment (DCE) approach.

DCE attributes were:
• administration mode (dissolvable film vs tablets),
• time to symptom relief
• price.

We specified a forced choice (FC) and an unforced choice (UC) model. In the FC model, the respondents chose between 2 hypothetical treatments and in the UC model, between any of 2 hypothetical treatments and their current treatment.

The study population included 348 subjects. All the DCE attributes were significant predictors for the treatment choice (p<0.001). In the FC model, the incremental WTP for an oral film compared with tablets was 409 Swedish kronor (SEK [≈€36.7]), with no other factors considered. In the UC model, the incremental WTP for the oral film compared with tablets was 574 SEK (≈€51.7). After considering the value of the respondents’ current treatment, the WTP for the oral film decreased to 336 SEK (≈€30.3). Subgroup analyses showed that people with circulatory symptoms and experience of swallowing difficulties related to allergy medication had higher WTP for the oral film than the average respondent. Findings show a substantial economic benefit of the oral film vs tablets for patients with AARs in Sweden. This result remained also after compensation for the full value of the patients’ current treatment.

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Journal of Health Economics and Outcome Research 2024:11(1):157-165
DOI: 10.36469/jheor.2024