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Did Medicare Induce Pharmaceutical Innovation?

Author

Listed:
  • Acemoglu, Daron
  • Finkelstein, Amy
  • Cutler, David
  • Linn, Joshua

Abstract

The introduction of Medicare in 1965 was the single largest change in health insurance coverage in U.S. history. Many economists and commentators have conjectured that the introduction of Medicare may have also been an important impetus for the development of new drugs that are now commonly used by the elderly and have substantially extended their life expectancy. In this paper, we investigate whether Medicare induced pharmaceutical innovations directed towards the elderly. Medicare could have played such a role only if two conditions were met. First, Medicare would have to increase drug spending by the elderly. Second, the pharmaceutical companies would have to respond to the change in market size for drugs caused by Medicare by changing the direction of their research. Our empirical work finds no evidence of a "first-stage" effect of Medicare on prescription drug expenditure by the elderly. Correspondingly, we also find no evidence of a shift in pharmaceutical innovation towards therapeutic categories most used by the elderly. On the whole, therefore, our evidence does not provide support for the hypothesis that Medicare had a major effect on the direction of pharmaceutical innovation.

Suggested Citation

  • Acemoglu, Daron & Finkelstein, Amy & Cutler, David & Linn, Joshua, 2006. "Did Medicare Induce Pharmaceutical Innovation?," Scholarly Articles 2664267, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:2664267
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 1999. "Distribution-free estimation of some nonlinear panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 77-97, May.
    2. Daron Acemoglu & David Cutler & Amy Finkelstein & Joshua Linn, 2006. "Did Medicare Induce Pharmaceutical Innovation?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 103-107, May.
    3. DiMasi, Joseph A. & Hansen, Ronald W. & Grabowski, Henry G. & Lasagna, Louis, 1991. "Cost of innovation in the pharmaceutical industry," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 107-142, July.
    4. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua Linn, 2004. "Market Size in Innovation: Theory and Evidence from the Pharmaceutical Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 1049-1090.
    5. Hausman, Jerry & Hall, Bronwyn H & Griliches, Zvi, 1984. "Econometric Models for Count Data with an Application to the Patents-R&D Relationship," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 909-938, July.
    6. Amy Finkelstein & Robin McKnight, 2005. "What Did Medicare Do (And Was It Worth It)?," NBER Working Papers 11609, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Joseph P. Newhouse, 2004. "Pricing the Priceless: A Health Care Conundrum," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262640589, January.
    8. Ariel Pakes & Zvi Griliches, 1980. "Patents and R and D at the Firm Level: A First Look," NBER Working Papers 0561, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Amy Finkelstein, 2005. "The Aggregate Effects of Health Insurance: Evidence from the Introduction of Medicare," NBER Working Papers 11619, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Amy Finkelstein, 2004. "Static and Dynamic Effects of Health Policy: Evidence from the Vaccine Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 527-564.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Grossmann, Volker, 2013. "Do cost-sharing and entry deregulation curb pharmaceutical innovation?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 881-894.
    2. Daron Acemoglu & David Cutler & Amy Finkelstein & Joshua Linn, 2006. "Did Medicare Induce Pharmaceutical Innovation?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 103-107, May.
    3. Freedman, Seth & Lin, Haizhen & Simon, Kosali, 2015. "Public health insurance expansions and hospital technology adoption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 117-131.
    4. Amitabh Chandra & Jonathan Skinner, 2012. "Technology Growth and Expenditure Growth in Health Care," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(3), pages 645-680, September.
    5. Mark Duggan & Fiona Scott Morton, 2010. "The Effect of Medicare Part D on Pharmaceutical Prices and Utilization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 590-607, March.
    6. Moshe Levy & Adi Rizansky, 2014. "Market failure in the pharmaceutical industry and how it can be overcome: the CureShare mechanism," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 15(2), pages 143-156, March.
    7. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:6:p:1106-1117 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Lakdawalla, Darius & Malani, Anup & Reif, Julian, 2017. "The insurance value of medical innovation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 94-102.
    9. Nawaz, Saima, 2015. "Growth effects of institutions: A disaggregated analysis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 118-126.
    10. Nawaz, Saima, 2011. "The Institutions-Growth Nexus: Stages of Development," MPRA Paper 36961, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Saima Nawaz & Nasir Iqbal & Muhammad Arshad Khan, 2014. "The Impact of Institutional Quality on Economic Growth: Panel Evidence," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 53(1), pages 15-31.
    12. Werfel, Seth H. & Jaffe, Adam B., 2013. "Induced innovation and technology trajectory: Evidence from smoking cessation products," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 15-22.
    13. Lei Ji, 2013. "Rethinking directed technical change with endogenous market structure," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2013-18, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    14. repec:pid:journl:v:55:y:2016:i:4:p:761-780 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • L65 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology; Plastics

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