LDI Research Seminar Series

David Bishai, MD, MPH, PhD
Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
Department of Population and Family Health Sciences

"The Unintended Consequences of Fear-Based Pharmaceutical Marketing: The Case of Vaccines"

March 28, 2003
12:00 - 1:30 PM
Colonial Penn Center Auditorium

Abstract Biosketch

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Objective: To estimate the willingness of parents in France and Germany to pay for meningococcal vaccines for their teenage children.

Design: A conjoint analysis survey was administered to 115 parents in each country. Half were also randomly assigned to view a video with graphical depictions of the effects of meningococcemia. Subjects were then shown a series of 18 sets of three vaccine descriptions. Each description listed the price of a hypothetical vaccine-ranging from 15 to 305, the duration of protection-, and the number of serogroups of the bacteria covered. The survey asked which vaccine was preferred and whether they would buy it. Conditional logit and generalized linear-random effects logit models assessed the effect of product attributes, personal background, and video viewership on the probability of indicating a purchase.

Setting: Recruitment through public advertisement in France and Germany.

Participants: 114 parents in Germany, 115 in France

Main Outcome Measures: Willingness to pay for vaccines

Results: 92.6% of subjects would purchase at least one of the vaccines they encountered. Price elasticity ranged from -1.20 (France) to -2.48 (Germany). Exposure to graphical depictions of disease consequences negligibly increased the overall willingness to purchase vaccine in France, but lowered the overall willingness in Germany. Conclusion: The majority of respondents stated that they would purchase meningococcal vaccines with their own money after a neutral discussion of the facts related to this disease. Appealing to parental fear using graphical depictions of disease states could lead to a reduction in willingness to pay for pharmaceuticals.

David M. Bishai is an assistant professor in the Department of Population Dynamics at The Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. He conducts research on the household health decision-making as well as economic evaluations of public health programs and technologies. Dr. Bishai received his Ph.D. in Health Care Systems from the Wharton School of Business in 1996. In 1987, he received his M.D. from the University of California at San Diego, and his M.P.H. from UCLA. His residency training in internal medicine and pediatrics was completed at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA.

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