The Expanding Pharmaceutical Arsenal in the War on Cancer
Only about one third of the approximately 80 drugs currently used to treat cancer had been approved when the war on cancer was declared in 1971. We assess the contribution of pharmaceutical innovation to the increase in cancer survival rates in a differences in differences' framework, by estimating models of cancer mortality rates using longitudinal, annual, cancer-site-level data based on records of 2.1 million people diagnosed with cancer during the period 1975-1995. We control for fixed cancer site effects, fixed year effects, incidence, stage distribution of diagnosed patients, mean age at diagnosis, and surgery and radiation treatment rates. Cancers for which the stock of drugs increased more rapidly tended to have greater increases in survival rates. The increase in the stock of drugs accounted for about 50-60% of the increase in age-adjusted survival rates in the first 6 years after diagnosis. New cancer drugs increased the life expectancy of people diagnosed with cancer by about one year from 1975 to 1995. The estimated cost to achieve the additional year of life per person diagnosed with cancer below $3000 is well below recent estimates of the value of a statistical life-year. Since the lifetime risk of being diagnosed with cancer is about 40%, the estimates imply that new cancer drugs accounted for 10.7% of the overall increase in U.S. life expectancy at birth.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2004|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Romer, Paul M, 1990.
"Endogenous Technological Change,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S71-102, October.
- Frank R. Lichtenberg, 2003.
"The impact of new drug launches on longevity: evidence from longitudinal disease-level data from 52 countries, 1982-2001,"
NBER Working Papers
9754, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Frank Lichtenberg, 2005. "The Impact of New Drug Launches on Longevity: Evidence from Longitudinal, Disease-Level Data from 52 Countries, 1982–2001," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 47-73, January.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10328. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.