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Have newer cardiovascular drugs reduced hospitalization? Evidence from longitudinal country-level data on 20 OECD countries, 1995-2003

  • Frank R. Lichtenberg

This study examines the effect of changes in the vintage distribution of cardiovascular system drugs on hospitalization and mortality due to cardiovascular disease using longitudinal country-level data. The vintage of a drug is the first year in which it was marketed anywhere in the world. We use annual data on the utilization of over 1100 cardiovascular drugs (active ingredients) in 20 OECD countries during the period 1995-2003. Countries with larger increases in the share of cardiovascular drug doses that contained post-1995 ingredients had smaller increases in the cardiovascular disease hospital discharge rate, controlling for the quantity of cardiovascular medications consumed per person, the use of other medical innovations (computed tomography scanners and magnetic resonance imaging units), potential risk factors (average consumption of calories, tobacco, and alcohol), and demographic variables (population size and age structure, income, and educational attainment). The estimates also indicate that the use of newer cardiovascular drugs has reduced the average length of stay and the age-adjusted cardiovascular mortality rate, but not the number of potential years of life lost due to cardiovascular disease before age 70 per 100 000 population. The estimates indicate that if drug vintage had not increased during 1995-2004, hospitalization and mortality would have been higher in 2004. We estimate that per capita expenditure on cardiovascular hospital stays would have been 70% ($89) higher in 2004 had drug vintage not increased during 1995-2004. Per capita expenditure on cardiovascular drugs would have been lower in 2004 had drug vintage not increased during 1995-2004. However, our estimate of the increase in expenditure on cardiovascular hospital stays is about 3.7 times as large as our estimate of the reduction in per capita expenditure for cardiovascular drugs that would have occurred ($24). Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.1382
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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 18 (2009)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 519-534

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:18:y:2009:i:5:p:519-534
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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  1. Plutarchos Sakellaris & Daniel J. Wilson, 2004. "Quantifying Embodied Technological Change," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(1), pages 1-26, January.
  2. Hulten, Charles R, 1992. "Growth Accounting When Technical Change Is Embodied in Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 964-80, September.
  3. Bahk, Byong-Hong & Gort, Michael, 1993. "Decomposing Learning by Doing in New Plants," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 561-83, August.
  4. Charles R. Hulten, 1992. "Growth Accounting When Technical Change is Embodied in Capital," NBER Working Papers 3971, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Frank R. Lichtenberg, 2006. "The Impact of Increased Utilization of HIV Drugs on Longevity and Medical Expenditures: An Assessment Based on Aggregate U.S. Time-Series Data," NBER Working Papers 12406, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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