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from tomorow's archives of internal medicine - fulltext available at cost. this is on GERD but I think the parallel to IBS is pretty clear.tomWillingness to Pay for Complete Symptom Relief of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Leah Kleinman, DrPH; Emma McIntosh, MSc; Mandy Ryan, PhD; Jordana Schmier, MA; Joseph Crawley, MS; G. Richard Locke III, MD; Gregory de Lissovoy, PhD Background Over $6 billion per year is spent on prescription medication for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This study is an economic analysis of patients' willingness to pay for a prescription medication that offers complete relief of GERD symptoms.Methods The study was a cross-sectional, nonrandomized design recruiting patients from 5 clinical sites. A computer-administered discrete-choice questionnaire was used to explore patients' willingness to pay for various attributes (time to relief, amount of relief, side effects, and out-of-pocket cost) associated with GERD treatment. Patients chose between 2 different combinations of attributes by indicating which scenario they preferred. Data were gathered on health status, health-related quality of life, and sociodemographic characteristics.Results Two hundred five patients completed the discrete-choice questionnaire with a consistency rate of 99.5%. All attributes were relevant to patient decision making. Respondents were willing to pay up to $182 to obtain complete relief in a short period of time without side effects. Patients with less severe GERD symptoms were willing to pay more to avoid side effects ($58.25 vs $38.43). Older patients were less willing to pay for better relief than younger patients.Conclusions Results demonstrate that patients are willing to pay more per month for a medication that provides more complete and faster relief from GERD symptoms. This information can guide clinicians and formulary committees in evaluating optimal treatment for GERD.Arch Intern Med. 2002;162:1361-1366
 
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