No Shot: US Vaccine Prices and Shortages

23 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2016

See all articles by David B. Ridley

David B. Ridley

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business

Xiaoshu Bei

Fuqua School of Business, Duke University

Eli Liebman

Duke University, Department of Economics, Students

Date Written: February 1, 2016

Abstract

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

Ridley, David B. and Bei, Xiaoshu and Liebman, Eli, No Shot: US Vaccine Prices and Shortages (February 1, 2016). Health Affairs, Vol. 35, No. 2, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2763886 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2763886

David B. Ridley (Contact Author)

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business ( email )

Box 90120
Durham, NC 27708-0120
United States

Xiaoshu Bei

Fuqua School of Business, Duke University ( email )

Box 90120
Durham, NC 27708-0120
United States
919-699-8937 (Phone)

Eli Liebman

Duke University, Department of Economics, Students ( email )

Durham, NC
United States

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