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The Impact of Increased Utilization of HIV Drugs on Longevity and Medical Expenditures: An Assessment Based on Aggregate U.S. Time-Series Data


  • Frank R. Lichtenberg


We estimate the medical cost per life-year gained from increased utilization of HIV drugs by estimating the impact of increased drug utilization on the life expectancy and drug and hospital expenditure of HIV/AIDS patients, using aggregate (U.S. national-level) data for the period 1982-2001. We use IMS Health data on the aggregate number of and expenditure on HIV drug prescriptions, the CDC%u2019s AIDS Public Information Data Set, and data from AHRQ%u2019s Nationwide Inpatient Sample. Estimates of mortality models imply that actual life expectancy of HIV/AIDS patients in 2001 was 13.4 years higher than it would have been if the drug utilization rate had not increased from its 1993 level. Estimates of a model of hospital discharges imply that increased utilization of HIV drugs caused hospital utilization to decline by .25 to .29 discharges per person per year during the period 1993-2001. Medical cost per additional life-year is estimated to have been $17,175. Treatments that cost this amount are widely considered to be cost-effective. The consistency of this estimate with those from previous studies suggests that analysis of aggregate data may be a useful alternative or additional approach to evaluating the cost-effectiveness of new treatments.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12406
    Note: HC PR HE

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Duggan Mark G & Evans William N, 2008. "Estimating the Impact of Medical Innovation: A Case Study of HIV Antiretroviral Treatments," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(2), pages 1-39, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. James Habyarimana & Bekezela Mbakile & Cristian Pop-Eleches, 2010. "The Impact of HIV/AIDS and ARV Treatment on Worker Absenteeism: Implications for African Firms," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(4), pages 809-839.
    2. Frank R. Lichtenberg, 2009. "Have newer cardiovascular drugs reduced hospitalization? Evidence from longitudinal country-level data on 20 OECD countries, 1995-2003," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 519-534.
    3. Cecilia Navarra, 2013. "Economics of Development NGOs: a survey of existing datasets," Working Papers 1305, University of Namur, Department of Economics.
    4. Frank Lichtenberg, 2011. "The quality of medical care, behavioral risk factors, and longevity growth," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 1-34, March.
    5. Tomas J. Philipson & Anupam B. Jena, 2005. "Surplus Appropriation from R&D and Health Care Technology Assessment Procedures," Public Economics 0511021, EconWPA.
    6. 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.

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    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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