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Has medical innovation reduced cancer mortality?

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  • Frank R. Lichtenberg

Abstract

I analyze the effects of four types of medical innovation and cancer incidence on U.S. cancer mortality rates during the period 2000-2009, by estimating difference-in-differences models using longitudinal (annual) data on about 60 cancer sites (breast, colon, etc.). The outcome measure used is not subject to lead-time bias. I control for mean age at diagnosis, the stage distribution of patients at time of diagnosis, and the sex and race of diagnosed patients. Under the assumption that there were no pre‐dated factors that drove both innovation and mortality and that there would have been parallel trends in mortality in the absence of innovation, the estimates indicate that there were three major sources of the 13.8% decline of the age-adjusted cancer mortality rate during 2000-2009. Drug innovation and imaging innovation are estimated to have reduced the cancer mortality rate by 8.0% and 4.0%, respectively. The decline in incidence is estimated to have reduced the cancer mortality rate by 1.2%. The social value of the reductions in cancer mortality attributable to medical innovations has been enormous, and much greater than the cost of these innovations.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank R. Lichtenberg, 2010. "Has medical innovation reduced cancer mortality?," NBER Working Papers 15880, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15880
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    1. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1991. "Quality Ladders in the Theory of Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 43-61.
    2. Lichtenberg Frank R., 2008. "Pharmaceutical Innovation and U.S. Cancer Survival, 1992-2003: Evidence from Linked SEER-MEDSTAT Data," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-27, March.
    3. Sebastian Galiani & Paul Gertler & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2005. "Water for Life: The Impact of the Privatization of Water Services on Child Mortality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 83-120, February.
    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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Joseph Cook & Joseph Golec & John Vernon & George Pink, 2011. "Real Option Value and Path Dependence in Oncology Innovation," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(2), pages 225-238.
    2. Dubois, Pierre & Kyle, Margaret K, 2016. "The Effects of Pharmaceutical Innovation on Cancer Mortality," CEPR Discussion Papers 11487, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Frank R. Lichtenberg, 2016. "The impact of pharmaceutical innovation on premature cancer mortality in Switzerland, 1995–2012," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 17(7), pages 833-854, September.
    4. George Miller & Matthew Daly & Charles Roehrig, 2013. "Tradeoffs in cardiovascular disease prevention, treatment, and research," Health Care Management Science, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 87-100, June.
    5. Frank Lichtenberg, 2015. "The impact of pharmaceutical innovation on premature cancer mortality in Canada, 2000–2011," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 339-359, September.
    6. Dubois, Pierre & Kyle, Margaret, 2016. "The Effects of Pharmaceutical Innovation on Cancer Mortality Rates," TSE Working Papers 16-688, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    7. Frank Lichtenberg, 2012. "Contribution of Pharmaceutical Innovation to Longevity Growth in Germany and France, 2001–7," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 197-211, March.
    8. Frank Lichtenberg, 2015. "The Impact of Pharmaceutical Innovation on Premature Mortality, Cancer Mortality, and Hospitalization in Slovenia, 1997–2010," Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 207-222, April.
    9. Frank Lichtenberg, 2010. "The Contribution of Pharmaceutical Innovation to Longevity Growth in Germany and France," CESifo Working Paper Series 3095, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. repec:spr:aphecp:v:15:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s40258-016-0291-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Lichtenberg, Frank R. & Tatar, Mehtap & Çalışkan, Zafer, 2014. "The effect of pharmaceutical innovation on longevity, hospitalization and medical expenditure in Turkey, 1999–2010," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 361-373.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • L64 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Other Machinery; Business Equipment; Armaments
    • L65 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology; Plastics
    • 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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