No Shot: US Vaccine Prices and Shortages
23 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2016
Date Written: February 1, 2016
In 2004 an Institute of Medicine report warned of vaccine shortages, raising concerns about disease outbreaks. More than a decade later, we looked for progress in reducing vaccine shortages. We analyzed data on vaccine sales and shortages reported by practitioners and patients to the Food and Drug Administration and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists in the period 2004–13. We found that the number of annual vaccine shortages peaked in 2007, when there were shortages of seven vaccines; there were only two shortages in 2013. There were no shortages of vaccines with a mean price per dose greater than $75 during the study period. Furthermore, we found that a 10 percent increase in price was associated with a nearly 1 percent decrease in the probability of a shortage. Government payers should carefully consider the benefits of averting shortages when evaluating prices for vaccines, including older vaccines whose prices have been subject to congressional price caps.
Keywords: Vaccines, shortages
JEL Classification: I18, L65
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation