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American Economic Journal: Applied Economics: Vol. 4 No. 3 (July 2012)

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The Economic Benefits of Pharmaceutical Innovations: The Case of Cox-2 Inhibitors

Article Citation

Garthwaite, Craig L. 2012. "The Economic Benefits of Pharmaceutical Innovations: The Case of Cox-2 Inhibitors." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 4(3): 116-37.

DOI: 10.1257/app.4.3.116

Abstract

Despite dramatic improvements in medical technology, little attention has been paid to the role of these innovations in improving economic outcomes. This study estimates the labor supply effects of Cox-2 inhibitors, a widely prescribed class of pharmaceuticals used for the treatment of chronic pain and inflammation and primarily marketed under the brand names Vioxx, Celebrex, and Bextra. This paper exploits the removal of Vioxx from the market in 2004 as an exogenous change in drug use. This removal was associated with a 0.35 percentage point decrease in overall labor force participation and $19 billion in lost wages. (JEL I12, J22, L65, O31).

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Authors

Garthwaite, Craig L. (Northwestern U)

JEL Classifications

I12: Health Production
J22: Time Allocation and Labor Supply
L65: Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology
O31: Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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