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Pharmaceutical Innovation, Longevity, and Medical Expenditure in Greece, 1995-2010

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  • Frank R. Lichtenberg

Abstract

Longitudinal, disease-level data are used to analyze the impact of pharmaceutical innovation on longevity (mean age at death), hospital utilization, and medical expenditure in Greece during the period 1995-2010. The estimates indicate that pharmaceutical innovation increased mean age at death by 0.87 years (10.4 months) - about 44% of the total increase in longevity - and that diseases with larger increases in the cumulative number of drugs launched one to four years earlier had smaller increases in the number of hospital days. Real per capita pharmaceutical expenditure increased rapidly during this period, but 62% of the increase in pharmaceutical expenditure was offset by a reduction in hospital expenditure attributable to pharmaceutical innovation. The baseline estimate of the cost per life-year gained from pharmaceutical innovation in Greece is $17,117, which is a very small fraction of leading economists' estimates of the value of (or consumers' willingness to pay for) a one-year increase in life expectancy.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank R. Lichtenberg, 2015. "Pharmaceutical Innovation, Longevity, and Medical Expenditure in Greece, 1995-2010," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(2), pages 277-299, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ijecbs:v:22:y:2015:i:2:p:277-299
    DOI: 10.1080/13571516.2015.1045743
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joseph E. Aldy & W. Kip Viscusi, 2008. "Adjusting the Value of a Statistical Life for Age and Cohort Effects," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 573-581, August.
    2. Lichtenberg Frank R., 2010. "Pharmaceutical Price Discrimination and Social Welfare," Capitalism and Society, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-32, July.
    3. Lichtenberg, Frank R., 2014. "The impact of pharmaceutical innovation on longevity and medical expenditure in France, 2000–2009," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 107-127.
    4. Frank Lichtenberg, 2013. "The impact of new (orphan) drug approvals on premature mortality from rare diseases in the United States and France, 1999–2007," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 14(1), pages 41-56, February.
    5. Frank R. Lichtenberg & Gautier Duflos, 2008. "Pharmaceutical innovation and the longevity of Australians: a first look," NBER Working Papers 14009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • L65 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology; Plastics
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe

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