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Surplus Appropriation from R&D and Health Care Technology Assessment Procedures

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  • Tomas J. Philipson
  • Anupam B. Jena

Abstract

Given the rapid growth in health care spending that is often attributed to technological change, many private and public institutions are grappling with how to best assess and adopt new health care technologies. The leading technology adoption criteria proposed in theory and used in practice involve so called "cost-effectiveness" measures. However, little is known about the dynamic efficiency implications of such criteria, in particular how they influence the R&D investments that make technologies available in the first place. We argue that such criteria implicitly concern maximizing consumer surplus, which many times is consistent with maximizing static efficiency after an innovation has been developed. Dynamic efficiency, however, concerns aligning the social costs and benefits of R&D and is therefore determined by how much of the social surplus from the new technology is appropriated as producer surplus. We analyze the relationship between cost-effectiveness measures and the degree of surplus appropriation by innovators driving dynamic efficiency. We illustrate how to estimate the two for the new HIV/AIDS therapies that entered the market after the late 1980's and find that only 5% of the social surplus is appropriated by innovators. We show how this finding can be generalized to other existing cost-effectiveness estimates by deriving how those estimates identify innovator appropriation for a set of studies of over 200 drugs. We find that these studies implicitly support a low degree of appropriation as well. Despite the high annual cost of drugs to patients, very low shares of social surplus may go to innovators, which may imply that cost-effectiveness is too high in a dynamic efficiency sense.

Suggested Citation

  • Tomas J. Philipson & Anupam B. Jena, 2006. "Surplus Appropriation from R&D and Health Care Technology Assessment Procedures," NBER Working Papers 12016, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12016 Note: HC IO
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    1. Philipson, Tomas, 2000. "Economic epidemiology and infectious diseases," Handbook of Health Economics,in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 33, pages 1761-1799 Elsevier.
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    8. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson & Y. Richard Wang, 2006. "Intellectual Property and Marketing," NBER Working Papers 12577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Johannesson, Magnus & Weinstein, Milton C., 1993. "On the decision rules of cost-effectiveness analysis," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 459-467, December.
    10. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Tomas J. Philipson & Eric Sun, 2008. "Is the Food And Drug Administration Safe And Effective?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 85-102, Winter.
    2. Barros Pedro Pita & Martinez-Giralt Xavier, 2015. "Technological Adoption in Health Care – The Role of Payment Systems," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 15(2), pages 709-745, April.
    3. Pedro Pita Barros & Xavier Martinez-Giralt, 2009. "Technological adoption in health care," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 790.09, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    4. Paul Grootendorst, 2012. "Prescription Drug Insurance and Reimbursement," Chapters,in: The Elgar Companion to Health Economics, Second Edition, chapter 11 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Tomas Philipson & Stephane Mechoulan & Anupam Jena, 2006. "Health Care, Technological Change, and Altruistic Consumption Externalities," NBER Working Papers 11930, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Lakdawalla, Darius & Sood, Neeraj, 2009. "Innovation and the welfare effects of public drug insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 541-548, April.
    7. Philipson Tomas J & Jena Anupam B, 2006. "Who Benefits from New Medical Technologies? Estimates of Consumer and Producer Surpluses for HIV/AIDS Drugs," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(2), pages 1-33, January.
    8. Paul Grootendorst, 2012. "Prescription Drug Insurance and Reimbursement," Chapters,in: The Elgar Companion to Health Economics, Second Edition, chapter 11 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Fimpel, Julia & Stolpe, Michael, 2006. "The welfare costs of HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe: An empirical assessment using the economic value-of-life approach," Kiel Working Papers 1297, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).

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    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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