When Technological Advance Meets Physician Learning in Drug Prescribing

47 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2019 Last revised: 6 Aug 2022

See all articles by Domenico Depalo

Domenico Depalo

Bank of Italy; Bank of Italy

Jay Bhattacharya

Stanford University - Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Vincenzo Atella

University of Rome Tor Vergata - Centre for International Studies on Economic Growth (CEIS); Department of Economics and Finance; University of Rome Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics

Federico Belotti

University of Rome Tor Vergata - Department of Economics and Finance; University of Rome, Tor Vergata - Centre for Economics and International Studies (CEIS)

Date Written: August 2019

Abstract

The support for scientific investigation in biomedicine depends in part on the adoption of new knowledge into medical practice. We investigate how a technological advance, in the form of a large and influential 2010 randomized controlled study, changed physician practice in statin (a medication used to manage high cholesterol levels) prescribing. We analyze data representative of the Italian population for the period 2003-2014. Our analysis accounts for possible non-random sorting of patients into treatment. We show that both doctors and patients responded promptly to this technological shock, changing the mix of patients who received therapy, drug dosing, and frequency of testing for side effects, as well as patient adherence to therapy. The results show that investments in scientific knowledge can rapidly diffuse into practice in professions where continuing education is the norm.

Suggested Citation

Depalo, Domenico and Depalo, Domenico and Bhattacharya, Jayanta and Atella, Vincenzo and Belotti, Federico, When Technological Advance Meets Physician Learning in Drug Prescribing (August 2019). NBER Working Paper No. w26202, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3446512

Domenico Depalo (Contact Author)

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
00184 Roma
Italy

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
Rome, 00184
Italy

Jayanta Bhattacharya

Stanford University - Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research ( email )

Center for Health Policy
179 Encina Commons
Stanford, CA 94305-6019
United States
650-736-0404 (Phone)
650-723-1919 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Vincenzo Atella

University of Rome Tor Vergata - Centre for International Studies on Economic Growth (CEIS) ( email )

Via Columbia, 2
Rome, I-00133
Italy
+39 06 72595648 (Phone)

Department of Economics and Finance ( email )

Via Columbia 2
Roma, 00133
Italy

University of Rome Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Via Columbia n.2
I-00133 Rome, 00133
Italy
+39 06 72595635 (Phone)
+30 06 2020 500 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.economia.uniroma2.it/sefemeq/professori/atella/

Federico Belotti

University of Rome Tor Vergata - Department of Economics and Finance

Via Columbia 2
Rome, RM 00133
Italy

University of Rome, Tor Vergata - Centre for Economics and International Studies (CEIS) ( email )

Via Columbia, 2
Rome, RM 00133
Italy

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