For a study, researchers sought to examine Chinese cancer patients’ risk-benefit preferences for rescue medications (RD) and their willingness to pay (WTP) in the treatment of breakthrough cancer pain (BTcP), the discrete choice experiment (DCE) was used.

Through literature reviews, expert consultation, and patient surveys, the work was able to add five attributes to the DCE questionnaire: the duration of breakthrough pain remission, adverse gastrointestinal reactions, adverse neuropsychiatric reactions, administration methods, and drug costs (which estimate patients’ WTP). For each attribute and its degree, the alternative-specific conditional logit model was used to examine patient preferences and WTP as well as to weigh the influence of sociodemographics and clinical traits.

From January 1 to April 5 of 2022, a total of 134 effective surveys were gathered. As a result, cancer patients’ decisions on “rescue drugs” were significantly influenced by all five qualities (P< 0.05), according to the results. Patients’ top concerns with regard to these characteristics were the remission time following drug administration (10.0; 95% CI 8.5-11.5), adverse reactions to the digestive system (8.5; 95% CI 7.0-10.0), adverse reactions to the neuropsychiatric system (2.9; 95% CI 1.4-4.3), and administration routes (0.9; 95% CI 0-1.8). The respondents were prepared to pay 1,182 yuan (95% CI 605-1,720 yuan) per month for “rescue drugs” that kick in within 15 minutes and 1,002 yuan (95% CI 605-1,760 yuan) per month to lower the frequency of drug-induced adverse responses in the digestive system to 5%.

The first aim for Chinese cancer patients, especially those with moderate to severe cancer pain, was to relieve BTcP more quickly and to lessen adverse medication effects. According to the study, the patients placed a high priority on minimizing negative side effects and fast breakthrough pain management. The discoveries were helpful for physicians, who were urged to consult with cancer patients on ways to lessen the BTcP.