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Does Physician Dispensing Increase Drug Expenditures?

  • Boris Kaiser
  • Christian Schmid

We analyze whether the possibility for physicians to dispense drugs increases health care expenditures due to the incentives created by the markup on drugs sold. Using comprehensive physician-level data from Switzerland, we exploit the fact that there is regional variation in the dispensing regime to estimate policy effects. The empirical strategy consists of doubly-robust estimation which combines inverse-probability weighting with regression. Our main finding suggests that if dispensing is permitted, physicians produce significantly higher drug costs in the order of 30% per patient.

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File URL: http://www.vwl.unibe.ch/papers/dp/dp1303.pdf
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Paper provided by Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft in its series Diskussionsschriften with number dp1303.

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Date of creation: Jul 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ube:dpvwib:dp1303
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  1. Toshiaki Iizuka, 2007. "Experts' agency problems: evidence from the prescription drug market in Japan," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(3), pages 844-862, 09.
  2. Hotz, V. Joseph & Crump, Richard K. & Mitnik, Oscar A. & Imbens, Guido, 2009. "Dealing with Limited Overlap in Estimation of Average Treatment Effects," Scholarly Articles 3007645, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Labelle, Roberta & Stoddart, Greg & Rice, Thomas, 1994. "A re-examination of the meaning and importance of supplier-induced demand," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 347-368, October.
  4. Liu, Ya-Ming & Yang, Yea-Huei Kao & Hsieh, Chee-Ruey, 2009. "Financial incentives and physicians' prescription decisions on the choice between brand-name and generic drugs: Evidence from Taiwan," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 341-349, March.
  5. Filippini, M. & Heimsch, F. & Masiero, G., 2014. "Antibiotic consumption and the role of dispensing physicians," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 242-251.
  6. Luca Crivelli & Massimo Filippini & Ilaria Mosca, 2006. "Federalism and regional health care expenditures: an empirical analysis for the Swiss cantons," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(5), pages 535-541.
  7. Guido W. Imbens, 2003. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects under Exogeneity: A Review," NBER Technical Working Papers 0294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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