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The Effect of Medicare Part D on Pharmaceutical Prices and Utilization

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  • Mark Duggan
  • Fiona Scott Morton

Abstract

Medicare Part D began coverage of prescription drugs in 2006. Rather than setting pharmaceutical prices, the government contracted with private insurers to provide drug coverage. Theory suggests that additional insured consumers will raise the optimal price of a branded drug, while the insurer's ability to move demand to substitute treatments may lower prices. We estimate the program's effect on the price and utilization of pharmaceutical treatments. We find that Part D enrollees paid substantially lower prices than while uninsured, and increased their utilization of prescription drugs. We find relative price declines only for drugs with significant therapeutic competition. (L18, L11, L65)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/mar2010/20080264_data.zip
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 100 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 590-607

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:100:y:2010:i:1:p:590-607

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.100.1.590
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References

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  1. David Card & Carlos Dobkin & Nicole Maestas, 2008. "The Impact of Nearly Universal Insurance Coverage on Health Care Utilization: Evidence from Medicare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2242-58, December.
  2. Leemore S. Dafny, 2005. "How Do Hospitals Respond to Price Changes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1525-1547, December.
  3. Nina Pavcnik, 2002. "Do Pharmaceutical Prices Respond to Potential Patient Out-of-Pocket Expenses?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(3), pages 469-487, Autumn.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Leemore Dafny, 2008. "Are Health Insurance Markets Competitive?," NBER Working Papers 14572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Arcidiacono, Peter & Ellickson, Paul B. & Landry, Peter & Ridley, David B., 2013. "Pharmaceutical followers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 538-553.
  3. Jonathan D. Ketcham & Kosali Simon, 2008. "Medicare Part D's Effects on Elderly Drug Costs and Utilization," NBER Working Papers 14326, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kristopher J. Hult & Tomas J. Philipson, 2012. "Public Liabilities and Health Care Policy," NBER Working Papers 18571, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ernst R. Berndt & Thomas G. McGuire & Joseph P. Newhouse, 2011. "A Primer on the Economics of Prescription Pharmaceutical Pricing in Health Insurance Markets," NBER Working Papers 16879, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Berndt, Ernst R. & Newhouse, Joseph P., 2010. "Pricing and Reimbursement in U.S. Pharmaceutical Markets," Working Paper Series rwp10-039, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  7. Hostenkamp, Gisela, 2013. "Do follow-on therapeutic substitutes induce price competition between hospital medicines? Evidence from the Danish hospital sector," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 111(1), pages 68-77.
  8. Lakdawalla, Darius & Sood, Neeraj, 2009. "Innovation and the welfare effects of public drug insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 541-548, April.
  9. Vetter, Stefan & Heiss, Florian & McFadden, Daniel & Winter, Joachim, 2012. "Risk attitudes and Medicare Part D enrollment decisions," Discussion Papers in Economics 12740, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  10. Niels Skipper, 2010. "On Utilization and Stockpiling of Prescription Drugs when Co-payments Increase: Heterogeneity across Types of Drugs," Economics Working Papers 2010-12, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  11. Lakdawalla, Darius & Sood, Neeraj & Gu, Qian, 2013. "Pharmaceutical advertising and Medicare Part D," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1356-1367.
  12. Gary V. Engelhardt & Jonathan Gruber, 2010. "Medicare Part D and the Financial Protection of the Elderly," NBER Working Papers 16155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Mark Duggan & Patrick Healy & Fiona Scott Morton, 2008. "Providing Prescription Drug Coverage to the Elderly: America's Experiment with Medicare Part D," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(4), pages 69-92, Fall.
  14. de Mouzon, Oliver & Dubois, Pierre & Scott Morton, Fiona & Seabright, Paul, 2011. "Market Size and Pharmaceutical Innovation," CEPR Discussion Papers 8367, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Gary V. Engelhardt & Jonathan Gruber, 2009. "Medicare Part D and the Financial Protection of the Elderly," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2009-24, Center for Retirement Research, revised Oct 2009.

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