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The Economic Benefits of Pharmaceutical Innovations: The Case of Cox-2 Inhibitors

  • Craig L. Garthwaite
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    Despite dramatic improvements in medical technology, little attention has been paid to the role of these innovations in improving economic outcomes. This study estimates the labor supply effects of Cox-2 inhibitors, a widely prescribed class of pharmaceuticals used for the treatment of chronic pain and inflammation and primarily marketed under the brand names Vioxx, Celebrex, and Bextra. This paper exploits the removal of Vioxx from the market in 2004 as an exogenous change in drug use. This removal was associated with a 0.35 percentage point decrease in overall labor force participation and $19 billion in lost wages. (JEL I12, J22, L65, O31).

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    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

    Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 (July)
    Pages: 116-37

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:4:y:2012:i:3:p:116-37
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.4.3.116
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    1. Steven Haider & David Loughran, 2001. "Elderly Labor Supply: Work or Play?," Working Papers 01-09, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
    2. Harsha Thirumurthy & Joshua Graff Zivin & Markus Goldstein, 2006. "The Economic Impact of AIDS Treatment: Labor Supply in Western Kenya," Working Papers 947, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    3. Joseph P. Newhouse, 1992. "Medical Care Costs: How Much Welfare Loss?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 3-21, Summer.
    4. Duggan, Mark, 2005. "Do new prescription drugs pay for themselves?: The case of second-generation antipsychotics," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 1-31, January.
    5. Bartel, Ann & Taubman, Paul, 1979. "Health and Labor Market Success: The Role of Various Diseases," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(1), pages 1-8, February.
    6. Berndt, Ernst R. & Finkelstein, Stan N. & Greenberg, Paul E. & Howland, Robert H. & Keith, Alison & Rush, A. John & Russell, James & Keller, Martin B., 1998. "Workplace performance effects from chronic depression and its treatment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 511-535, October.
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