The objective was to develop and validate a multilateral index to determine patient ability to pay for medication in low- and middle-income countries. Primary data were collected in 2009 from 117 cancer patients in China, India, Thailand, and Malaysia. The initial tool included income, expenditures, and assets-based items using ad hoc determined brackets. Principal components analysis was performed to determine final weights. Agreement (Kappa) was measured between results from the final tool and from an Impact Survey (IS) conducted after beginning drug therapy to quantify a patient's actual ability to pay in terms of number of drug cycles per year. The authors present the step-by-step methodology employed to develop the tool on a country-by-country basis. Overall Cronbach value was 0.84. Agreement between the Patient Financial Eligibility Tool (PFET) and IS was perfect (equal number of drug cycles) for 58.1% of patients, fair (1 cycle difference) for 29.1%, and poor (>1 cycle) for 12.8%. Overall Kappa was 0.76 (P<0.0001). The PFET is an effective tool for determining an individual's ability to pay for medication. Combined with tiered models for patient participation in the cost of medication, it could help to increase access to high-priced products in developing countries.
Development and validation of a multilateral index to determine economic status in developing countries: the Patient Financial Eligibility Tool (PFET).
Popul Health Manag. 2013;16(2):82-9.
MeSH terms: Cost of Illness; Developing Countries; Eligibility Determination; Financing, Personal; Health Services Accessibility; Humans; Pharmaceutical Preparations; Social Class; Surveys and Questionnaires