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The costs of celiac disease: a contingent valuation in Switzerland

Laia Soler and Nicolas Borzykowski ()
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Laia Soler: University of Lausanne
Nicolas Borzykowski: University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland in Business Administration (HEG-Genève)

The European Journal of Health Economics, 2021, vol. 22, issue 9, No 13, 1487-1505

Abstract: Abstract This paper proposes a first monetary measure of the private costs of celiac disease, including intangible costs (physical symptoms, logistical constraints, etc.) in Switzerland. This auto-immune disease damages the intestine when patients ingest gluten. The only treatment currently available is a gluten-free diet, which implies great nutritional constraints. To get a monetary equivalent of the costs borne by celiac patients, we used a contingent valuation. The scenario suggested to celiac patients a treatment in form of a daily pill, which would allow them to eat normally and avoid any physical pain from celiac disease. Mean Willingness To Pay (WTP) for the treatment is found to be around CHF 87 (approx. USD 87) per month. WTP is positively influenced by direct and indirect costs of the disease. Oppositely, individuals, who find the gluten-free diet healthier are willing to pay less. Finally, unlike symptoms before diagnostic, the current presence or intensity of physical symptoms are found to be insignificant. The latter result can be explained by the fact that, individuals facing stronger symptoms are more likely to adhere strictly to the GFD and hence to reduce their frequency.

Keywords: Celiac disease; Contingent valuation; Gluten-free diet; Intangible costs; Cost-of-illness (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I11 I18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s10198-021-01376-z

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