Background: Blood sampling is a frequent medical procedure, very often considered as a stressful experience by children. Local anesthetics have been developed, but are expensive and not reimbursed by insurance companies in our country. We wanted to assess parents' willingness to pay (WTP) for this kind of drug.
Patients and methods: Over 6 months, all parents of children presenting for general (GV) or specialized visit (SV) with blood sampling. WTP was assessed through three scenarios [avoiding blood sampling (ABS), using the drug on prescription (PD), or over the counter (OTC)], with a payment card system randomized to ascending or descending order of prices (AO or DO).
Results: Fifty-six responses were collected (34 GV, 22 SV, 27 AO and 29 DO), response rate 40%. Response distribution was wide, with median WTP of 40 for ABS, 25 for PD, 10 for OTC, which is close to the drug's real price. Responses were similar for GV and SV. Median WTP amounted to 0.71, 0.67, 0.20% of respondents' monthly income for the three scenarios, respectively, with a maximum at 10%.
Conclusions: Assessing parents' WTP in an outpatient setting is difficult, with wide result distribution, but median WTP is close to the real drug price. This finding could be used to promote insurance coverage for this drug.