Study of patients’willingness to pay for a cure of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Taiwan

Yi Ting Chen, Yung Hsiang Ying*, Koyin Chang, Ya Hui Hsieh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is one of the fastest growing causes of death worldwide. However, few studies, if any, have been conducted that have investigated patient profiles in Asia. This paper analyzes patient willingness to pay (WTP) as a function of patient disease severity, health-related quality of life (HRQL), and smoking behavior in Taiwan. Study Design: A cross-sectional survey was conducted using in-person interviews with COPD patients. A hypothetical scenario was designed and presented to ascertain each subject’s willingness to pay (WTP) for a cure for COPD. Methods: A survey of subjects with COPD was performed in Taiwan. The contingent valuation method (CVM) was employed to measure patient financial burden, which was analyzed along with covariates that included various types of health-related quality of life (HRQL), severity level, and demographic background. Multivariate regression and simulation methods were employed for analysis. Results: A total of 142 subjects were interviewed, with an average annual WTP of approximately $1422 USD (or 42,662.37 NTD, New Taiwan Dollars). The annual WTP for patients 55 years of age or younger, $5709.06, was the highest and equivalent to approximately one-third of Taiwan average annual personal income or quadruple the spending amount of the Taiwan National Bureau of Health Insurance (NBHI) for each COPD patient. Current cigarette smokers were willing to pay a substantially higher amount than former smokers and nonsmokers, which reflects a psychological desire for redemption in COPD patients. Conclusions: The results of this study provide directions for the relevant authorities regarding the alleviation of suffering as a result of COPD. Appropriate health promotion measures, such as measures to reduce tobacco usage, early diagnosis, and active treatment, may be necessary to contain the escalating costs related to COPD and to prevent this epidemic from worsening.

Original languageEnglish
Article number273
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 1


  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Comorbidities
  • Disease severity
  • Health-related quality of life (HRQL)
  • Willingness to pay (WTP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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