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On Utilization and Stockpiling of Prescription Drugs when Co-payments Increase: Heterogeneity across Types of Drugs

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  • Niels Skipper

    ()
    (School of Economics and Management, Aarhus University, Denmark)

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    Abstract

    This paper investigates prescription drug utilization changes following an exogenous shift in consumer co-payment caused by a reform in the Danish subsidy scheme for the general public. Two different types of medication are considered – insulin for treatment of the chronic condition diabetes and penicillin for treatment of non-chronic conditions. Using purchasing records for a 20% random sample of the Danish population, I show that increasing co-payments lower the utilization of both drugs. I demonstrate that individuals treated with drugs for chronic conditions react to the policy change by stockpiling on their medications. This has implications for other papers in the literature that use variation in subsidy rates over time to estimate the price elasticity of demand. This is not the case for penicillin however, where price elasticities are estimated to be in the -.18 – -.35 range. Further, I find that the lower part of the income distribution is more price responsive.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus in its series Economics Working Papers with number 2010-12.

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    Length: 44
    Date of creation: 23 Jul 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2010-12

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    Web page: http://www.econ.au.dk/afn/

    Related research

    Keywords: Prescription drugs; co-payments; price elasticities; stockpiling;

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    1. Igal Hendel & Aviv Nevo, 2005. "Measuring the Implications of Sales and Consumer Inventory Behavior," NBER Working Papers 11307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Keeler, Emmett B & Newhouse, Joseph P & Phelps, C E, 1977. "Deductibles and the Demand for Medical Care Services: The Theory of a Consumer Facing a Variable Price Schedule under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(3), pages 641-55, April.
    3. Mark Duggan & Fiona Scott Morton, 2008. "The Effect of Medicare Part D on Pharmaceutical Prices and Utilization," NBER Working Papers 13917, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Guido Imbens & Thomas Lemieux, 2007. "Regression Discontinuity Designs: A Guide to Practice," NBER Technical Working Papers 0337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Paul Contoyannis & Jeremiah Hurley & Paul Grootendorst & Sung-Hee Jeon & Robyn Tamblyn, 2005. "Estimating the price elasticity of expenditure for prescription drugs in the presence of non-linear price schedules: an illustration from Quebec, Canada," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(9), pages 909-923.
    6. Manning, Willard G, et al, 1987. "Health Insurance and the Demand for Medical Care: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 251-77, June.
    7. Amitabh Chandra & Jonathan Gruber & Robin McKnight, 2010. "Patient Cost-Sharing and Hospitalization Offsets in the Elderly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 193-213, March.
    8. Marianne Simonsen & Lars Skipper & Niels Skipper, 2010. "Price Sensitivity of Demand for Prescription Drugs: Exploiting a Regression Kink Design," Economics Working Papers 2010-03, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
    9. Honore, Bo E, 1992. "Trimmed LAD and Least Squares Estimation of Truncated and Censored Regression Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(3), pages 533-65, May.
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