Willingness to Pay and the Valuation of Programmes for the Prevention and Control of Influenza
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In this paper, we consider the role of willingness to pay (WTP) as a method for measuring the impact of healthcare programmes on population well-being. Alternative methods of outcome valuation, such as quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), measure values through individuals' willingness to trade off a particular commodity, future life. Moreover, the method of valuation fails to incorporate several dimensions of benefit relevant to measuring well-being that are particularly important in programmes aimed at the prevention and control of influenza. In contrast, WTP provides a broad method of valuation based on individuals' willingness to trade off a much wider range of commodities. In addition, WTP incorporates externalities and uncertainty within individual valuations. We show that the main limitations of the WTP approach are not avoided by adoption of the QALY approach.
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