The Effect of Drug Vintage on Survival: Micro Evidence from Puerto Rico's Medicaid Program

Advances in Health Economics and Health Services Research, Vol. 22, pp. 273-292, 2010

24 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2011

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)

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Date Written: 2010

Abstract

Using micro data on virtually all of the drugs and diseases of over 500,000 people enrolled in Puerto Rico's Medicaid program, the impact of the vintage (original FDA approval year) of drugs used to treat a patient on the patient's three-year probability of survival, controlling for demographic characteristics (age, sex, and region), utilization of medical services, and the nature and complexity of illness are examined. It is found that people using newer drugs during January-June, 2000, were less likely to die by the end of 2002, conditional on the covariates. The estimated mortality rates are strictly declining with respect to drug vintage. For pre-1970 drugs, the estimated mortality rate is 4.4%. The mortality rates for 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s drugs are 3.6%, 3.0%, and 2.5%, respectively. The actual mortality rate is about 16% (3.7% vs. 4.4%) lower than it would have been if all of the drugs utilized in 2000 had been pre-1970 drugs. Estimates for subgroups of people with specific diseases display the same general pattern.

Suggested Citation

Lichtenberg, Frank R., The Effect of Drug Vintage on Survival: Micro Evidence from Puerto Rico's Medicaid Program (2010). Advances in Health Economics and Health Services Research, Vol. 22, pp. 273-292, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1949307

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