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In search of a corrected prescription drug Elasticity estimate: a meta-regression approach

  • Marin C. Gemmill

    (LSE Health, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK)

  • Joan Costa-Font
  • Alistair McGuire

An understanding of the relationship between cost sharing and drug consumption depends on consistent and unbiased price elasticity estimates. However, there is wide heterogeneity among studies, which constrains the applicability of elasticity estimates for empirical purposes and policy simulation. This paper attempts to provide a corrected measure of the drug price elasticity by employing meta-regression analysis (MRA). The results indicate that the elasticity estimates are significantly different from zero, and the corrected elasticity is −0.209 when the results are made robust to heteroskedasticity and clustering of observations. Elasticity values are higher when the study was published in an economic journal, when the study employed a greater number of observations, and when the study used aggregate data. Elasticity estimates are lower when the institutional setting was a tax-based health insurance system. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 16 (2007)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 627-643

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:16:y:2007:i:6:p:627-643
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  1. Stephen Smith & Sheila Watson, 1990. "Modelling the effects of prescription charge rises," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 11(1), pages 75-91, February.
  2. Stanley, T D & Jarrell, Stephen B, 1989. " Meta-Regression Analysis: A Quantitative Method of Literature Survey s," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 161-70.
  3. Paul V. Grootendorst & Mitchell Levine, 2002. "Do Drug Plans Matter? Effects of Drug Plan Eligibility on Drug Use Among the Elderly, Social Assistance Recipients and the General Population," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 73, McMaster University.
  4. Leibowitz, Arleen & Manning, Willard G. & Newhouse, Joseph P., 1985. "The demand for prescription drugs as a function of cost-sharing," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 21(10), pages 1063-1069, January.
  5. O'Brien, Bernie, 1989. "The effect of patient charges on the utilisation of prescription medicines," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 109-132, March.
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