It is often assumed by health economists that the principal objective of health care is to maximise population health. However, people may be willing to sacrifice overall health in order to direct resources towards high priority disease areas, such as cancer. This paper examines whether society is willing to pay more for cancer prevention and treatment than for other types of health care. The policy context in the UK, where special assessment criteria and funding arrangements are currently in place for certain cancer drugs, is described. Selected empirical studies that have examined the extent of public support for a ‘cancer premium’ are then summarised and discussed. The evidence available is not sufficiently strong to conclude whether or not willingness to pay is higher for cancer prevention and treatment.
Shah, K. K. (2017). Is willingness to pay higher for cancer prevention and treatment? Journal of Cancer Policy, 11, 60–64. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcpo.2016.09.006