Study Assessing Utility Value of a Daily Pill for CV Disease Prevention May Help Researchers and Policymakers

The mean utility value of taking a daily pill for prevention of cardiovascular disease is ≈0.990 to 0.994 – a value that may be useful for researchers and policymakers assessing preventive interventions, according to authors of a study published Feb. 3 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

The cross-sectional Internet-based survey of 1,000 U.S. residents aged ≥30 calculated utility values, using time trade-off as the primary method and standard gamble and willingness-to-pay techniques as secondary analyses. Results found that mean utility using the time trade-off method was 0.990 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.988–0.992), including roughly 70 percent not willing to trade any amount of time to avoid taking a daily preventive pill. Using the standard gamble method, mean utility was 0.991 (0.989–0.993), with 62 percent not willing to risk any chance of death. 

Authors also noted that respondents were willing to pay an average of $1,445 to avoid taking a pill daily, which translates to a mean utility of 0.994 (0.940–0.997), including 41 percent unwilling to pay any amount. Time trade-off–based utility varied by age, sex, race, numeracy, difficulty with obtaining pills and number of pills taken per day; however,  it did not vary by education level, literacy, or income.

“The utility value of taking a pill daily can have an important effect on cost-effectiveness analyses for [cardiovascular disease] prevention, even for small decrements in utility such as those found in this study,” the authors noted. “Knowing this value and the distribution of responses may be useful for researchers and policymakers evaluating preventive interventions... that include taking pills, including the decision about taking aspirin or statins, and should be considered in addition to information about the decrements in utility from adverse outcomes such as gastrointestinal bleeding or myopathy.”

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