Has Medical Innovation Reduced Cancer Mortality?

48 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2010 Last revised: 20 Sep 2014

See all articles by Frank R. Lichtenberg

Frank R. Lichtenberg

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Date Written: April 2010

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‚Äźdated 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

Lichtenberg, Frank R., Has Medical Innovation Reduced Cancer Mortality? (April 2010). NBER Working Paper No. w15880, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1586687

Frank R. Lichtenberg (Contact Author)

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics ( email )

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