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Have Newer Cardiovascular Drugs Reduced Hospitalization? Evidence From Longitudinal Country-Level Data on 20 OECD Countries, 1995-2003

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  • Frank R. Lichtenberg

Abstract

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-1990 or 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 (CT scanners & MRI units), potential risk factors (average consumption of calories, tobacco, and alcohol), and demographic variables (population size & age structure, income, and educational attainment). The estimates also indicate that use of newer cardiovascular drugs has reduced 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. But 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).

Suggested Citation

  • Frank R. Lichtenberg, 2008. "Have Newer Cardiovascular Drugs Reduced Hospitalization? Evidence From Longitudinal Country-Level Data on 20 OECD Countries, 1995-2003," NBER Working Papers 14008, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14008
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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 964-980, 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 561-583, August.
    4. 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.
    5. Charles R. Hulten, 1992. "Growth Accounting When Technical Change is Embodied in Capital," NBER Working Papers 3971, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vincenzo Atella & Francesco D'Amico, 2010. "Who is responsible for your health: You, your doctor or new technologies?," CEIS Research Paper 167, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 28 May 2010.
    2. de Meijer, Claudine & O’Donnell, Owen & Koopmanschap, Marc & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2013. "Health expenditure growth: Looking beyond the average through decomposition of the full distribution," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 88-105.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O51 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - U.S.; Canada
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
    • O56 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Oceania

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