Estimating preferences and willingness to pay for pharmacogenetic testing in populations who are medically underserved: a discrete choice experiment

Front Pharmacol. 2024 Mar 26:15:1384667. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2024.1384667. eCollection 2024.

Abstract

Background: The implementation of pharmacogenetic (PGx) testing may contribute to health disparities if access to testing is inequitable, as medically underserved patients are prescribed higher rates of drugs with PGx guidelines and often experience the benefits of emerging health technologies last. Limited research has evaluated potential implementation of PGx testing in populations who are medically underserved and none have evaluated their preferences regarding PGx test characteristics and cost. Our study endeavored to assess the willingness to pay for PGx testing and key PGx test preferences in a nationwide cohort of medically underserved respondents. Methods: A survey was developed to assess willingness to pay and preferences for PGx testing through a discrete choice experiment (DCE). Five attributes of PGx tests were included in the DCE: doctor recommendation, wait time, number of actionable results, benefit of the test (avoid a side effect or address a health problem), and out-of-pocket cost. A convenience sample of U.S. adults with an average yearly household income of $42,000 or less was collected utilizing an online survey fielded by Qualtrics Research Services (Provo, UT). For the DCE analysis, conditional logit and mixed-logit regression models were utilized to determine relative utility of attributes and levels, conditional relative importance for each attribute, and marginal willingness to pay. Results: Respondents completed the survey with an 83.1% response completion rate. Following quality control procedures, 1,060 respondents were included in the final nationwide cohort. Approximately, 82% of respondents were willing to pay less than $100 for PGx testing, and a strong price ceiling was identified at $200. Out-of-pocket cost was the attribute identified as having the greatest relative importance on choice, while wait time had the lowest importance. Greater utility was observed if the PGx test was doctor recommended, had a higher number of actionable results, and resolved major or minor health problems compared with avoiding side effects. Conclusion: This first-of-its-kind study provides important insights into the willingness to pay for PGx testing and PGx test preferences of a large medically underserved population. Applying these findings can potentially lead to improvements in the successful implementation of PGx testing in this population.

Keywords: discrete choice experiment; implementation; medically underserved; pharmacogenetic; willingness to pay.