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Hedonic Analysis of Arthritis Drugs


  • Iain M. Cockburn
  • Aslam H. Anis


We examine the relationship between quality'' and market outcomes for a group of drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Though this is a widespread and debilitating disease with very substantial impacts on the health of patients and on the economy, currently available drugs have limited efficacy and serious side effects. Clinical research conducted since these products were approved has resulted in substantial revisions to the body of scientific information available to physicians. The relative quality' of these drugs (as captured by efficacy and toxicity measurements reported in peer-reviewed clinical trials) has changed markedly over the past 15 years. Yet in our analysis of US wholesale prices we find that relative prices appear to be only weakly related to quality. We do however find a relationship between changes in reported efficacy and toxicity and the evolution of quantity shares in this market.

Suggested Citation

  • Iain M. Cockburn & Aslam H. Anis, 1998. "Hedonic Analysis of Arthritis Drugs," NBER Working Papers 6574, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6574
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ernst R. Berndt & Linda T. Bui & David H. Lucking-Reiley & Glen L. Urban, 1996. "The Roles of Marketing, Product Quality, and Price Competition in the Growth and Composition of the U.S. Antiulcer Drug Industry," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of New Goods, pages 277-328 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Steven T. Berry, 1994. "Estimating Discrete-Choice Models of Product Differentiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 242-262, Summer.
    3. Fiona Scott Morton, 1997. "The Strategic Response by Pharmaceutical Firms to the Medicaid Most-Favored-Customer Rules," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(2), pages 269-290, Summer.
    4. Anis, Aslam H. & Wen, Quan, 1998. "Price regulation of pharmaceuticals in Canada," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 21-38, January.
    5. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-890, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paul Chwelos, 2003. "Approaches to performance measurement in hedonic analysis: Price indexes for laptop computers in the 1990's," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 199-224.
    2. Antonio Cabrales & Sergi Jiménez‐Martín, 2013. "The Determinants Of Pricing In Pharmaceuticals: Are Us Prices Really So High?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(11), pages 1377-1397, November.
    3. Antonio Cabrales & Sergi Jiménez-Martín, 2007. "The determinants of pricing in pharmaceuticals: Are U.S. prices really higher than those of Canada?," Economics Working Papers 1032, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    4. Berndt, Ernst R. & Pindyck, Robert S. & Azoulay, Pierre, 1970-, 1998. "Network effects and diffusion in pharmaceutical markets : antiulcer drugs," Working papers WP 4059-98., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    5. David E. Lebow & Jeremy B. Rudd, 2001. "Measurement error in the consumer price index: where do we stand?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-61, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. Ana Aizcorbe & Nicole Nestoriak, 2010. "Price Indexes for Drugs: A Review of the Issues," BEA Working Papers 0050, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
    7. C. Lanier Benkard & Patrick Bajari, 2003. "Hedonic Price Indexes with Unobserved Product Characteristics, and Application to PC's," NBER Working Papers 9980, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Ernst R. Berndt & David M. Cutler & Richard Frank & Zvi Griliches & Joseph P. Newhouse & Jack E. Triplett, 2001. "Price Indexes for Medical Care Goods and Services -- An Overview of Measurement Issues," NBER Chapters,in: Medical Care Output and Productivity, pages 141-200 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Joseph DiMasi & Cherie Paquette, 2005. "The economics of follow-on drug research and development: Trends in entry rates and the timing of development — The authors’ reply," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 23(12), pages 1193-1202, December.
    10. Ernst R. Berndt & Robert S. Pindyck & Pierre Azoulay, 2003. "Consumption Externalities and Diffusion in Pharmaceutical Markets: Antiulcer Drugs," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 243-270, June.
    11. Bart Hobijn, 2001. "Is equipment price deflation a statistical artifact?," Staff Reports 139, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    12. Benkard, C. Lanier & Bajari, Patrick, 2003. "Hedonic Price Indexes with Unobserved Product Characteristics, and Application to PC's," Research Papers 1841, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    13. Joan-Ramon Borrell & Jayashree Watal, 2002. "Impact of Patents on Access to HIV/AIDS Drugs in Developing Countries," CID Working Papers 92, Center for International Development at Harvard University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation


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