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Willingness-to-pay and benefit–cost analysis of chemical peels for acne treatment in China

Authors Xiao Y, Chen L, Jing D, Deng Y, Chen X, Su J, Shen M

Received 14 November 2018

Accepted for publication 27 January 2019

Published 22 February 2019 Volume 2019:13 Pages 363—370


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Naifeng Liu

Yi Xiao,1–3,* Liping Chen,1–3,* Danrong Jing,1–3 Yuxuan Deng,1 Xiang Chen,1–3 Juan Su,1–3 Minxue Shen1–3

1Department of Dermatology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, China; 2Hunan Engineering Research Center of Skin Health and Disease, Central South University, Changsha, China; 3Hunan Key Laboratory of Skin Cancer and Psoriasis, Central South University, Changsha, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: There have been few studies on economic evaluation of acne treatments. Chemical peel (CP), a treatment approach primarily aimed at removing acne hyperpigmentation and scarring, is gradually accepted in the Chinese market.
Objectives: This study aimed to detect willingness-to-pay (WTP) and to conduct a benefit–cost analysis for CP treatment among Chinese acne patients.
Materials and methods: The costs were obtained from the patient’s perspective and compared with benefits. The net benefits were approximated by WTP, using the contingent valuation method. A glycolic acid peel served as the demonstrated example. WTP and related information were inquired via an online questionnaire among the Chinese population. Factors for WTP were identified using generalized linear models. The benefit–cost ratio (BCR) was calculated. Discounting was not considered for both WTP and costs.
Results: The response rate of the survey was 95.4% among the 476 anonymous participants. The average cost for three-time CP treatment was USD 383.4. Statistically significant differences in WTP among the cases were identified. The mean WTP for Case 1, Case 2, and Case 3 was USD 234.6, 222.0, and 401.7, respectively. A statistically significant association between WTP and self-reported acne severity was observed for all cases after adjustments for demographic characteristics (P<0.01). The Cardiff Acne Disability Index was positively associated with WTP. The BCRs were 0.61, 0.58, and 1.4 for Case 1, Case 2, and Case 3, respectively.
Conclusion: Patients with acne in China are willing to pay for acne treatment. Although the benefits of CP treatment have not generally outweighed their aggregated costs, WTP for CP treatment was positively associated with self-reported acne severity and desirable efficacy of treatment. Individualized acne treatments are recommended to target a specific population in the Chinese market.

Keywords: acne vulgaris, benefit–cost analysis, chemical peel, willingness-to-pay

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