Willingness to Pay for Genetic Testing: A Study of Attitudes in a Canadian Population

Ries, N. M.; Hyde-Lay, R.; Caulfield, T.
June 2010
Public Health Genomics;2010, Vol. 13 Issue 5, p292
Academic Journal
Background: This article reports results of a 2008 telephone survey of approximately 1,200 residents of the Province of Alberta, Canada. The majority of respondents reside in urban centers, have some post-secondary education, and report annual family income near or above the Canadian average. The goal was to explore attitudes and interest regarding different types of genetic tests. Methods: Respondents were asked about their willingness to pay for tests to gain information about genetic factors related to manageable conditions, serious, unpreventable disease, healthy food choices, psychiatric conditions, going bald (asked of men only), and gaining weight. The price categories were CAD 0, CAD 1–499, CAD 500–1,999 and CAD 2,000+. Respondents were also asked about factors that would motivate interest in genetic testing, such as availability of treatment, curiosity, and reproductive decision-making. They were also asked if the public health insurance system should pay for certain types of tests. Results: Across all test categories, few respondents expressed willingness to pay more than CAD 500 out of their own pocket. 62% stated that the public health insurance system should pay for genetic tests for manageable conditions and opinion was divided about whether the government should fund tests for serious, unpreventable conditions and tests to inform healthy eating choices. Conclusion: The principal motivator for interest in genetic testing was to learn clinically relevant details to inform health-related decisions. Curiosity about genetic risk had only a modest impact on consumer interest. In general, younger respondents (18–35 years) expressed somewhat greater willingness to pay than older respondents, especially those 65 and older. Copyright © 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel


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