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Welfare Effects of Pharmaceutical Informative Advertising

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  • Paris Cleanthous

Abstract

Pharmaceutical markets are characterized by a high degree of innovation, complexity and uncertainty, especially markets of idiosyncratic symptomatolgy and response to treatment such as the antidepressant market. It may, therefore, be unreasonable to assume that consumers are aware of all antidepressants for sale at the time of purchase, as is the case in traditional models of consumer choice. Such an assumption will bias demand curves towards being more elastic and the evaluation of consumer welfare downwards. This paper, therefore, aims at analyzing and evaluating the effects of promotions by pharmaceutical firms on patient welfare taking into account the interaction of multiple agents (patients, physicians, insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies) in the decision process. I present an empirical discrete-choice model of limited information, where advertising influences the set of drugs from which a purchase choice is made. The estimation technique incorporates both macro- and micro-level data. Estimation results indicate that pharmaceutical firms use advertising media to target high-income households and households with more comprehensive prescription drug insurance schemes through their physicians or directly. Model comparison shows that limited information leads to less elastic demand curves and larger estimates of patient welfare due to pharmaceutical innovation that exacerbate the moral hazard issue that coexists with insurance coverage.

Suggested Citation

  • Paris Cleanthous, 2011. "Welfare Effects of Pharmaceutical Informative Advertising," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 02-2011, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucy:cypeua:02-2011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bharat N. Anand & Ron Shachar, 2011. "Advertising, the matchmaker," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 42(2), pages 205-245, June.
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    3. Michelle Sovinsky Goeree, 2008. "Limited Information and Advertising in the U.S. Personal Computer Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(5), pages 1017-1074, September.
    4. Daniel A. Ackerberg, 2003. "Advertising, learning, and consumer choice in experience good markets: an empirical examination," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(3), pages 1007-1040, August.
    5. Aviv Nevo, 2000. "A Practitioner's Guide to Estimation of Random-Coefficients Logit Models of Demand," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(4), pages 513-548, December.
    6. Paul Ellickson & Scott Stern & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2001. "Patient Welfare and Patient Compliance -- An Empirical Framework for Measuring the Benefits from Pharmaceutical Innovation," NBER Chapters,in: Medical Care Output and Productivity, pages 539-564 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Matthew Shum, 2004. "Does Advertising Overcome Brand Loyalty? Evidence from the Breakfast-Cereals Market," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 241-272, June.
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    Keywords

    Advertising; Health; Information; Moral Hazard; Pharmaceuticals; Welfare;

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