NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Effects of Pharmaceutical Marketing and Promotion on Adverse Drug Events and Regulation

Guy David, Sara Markowitz, Seth Richards

NBER Working Paper No. 14634
Issued in January 2009
NBER Program(s):   HC   HE   LE

This paper analyzes the relationship between postmarketing promotional activity and reporting of adverse drug events by modeling the interaction between a welfare maximizing regulator (the FDA) and a profit maximizing firm. In our analysis demand is sensitive to both promotion and regulatory interventions. Promotion-driven market expansions enhance profitability yet may involve the risk that the drug would be prescribed inappropriately, leading to adverse regulatory actions against the firm. The model exposes the effects of the current regulatory system on consumer and producer welfare. Particularly, the emphasis on safety over benefits distorts the market allocation of drugs away from some of the most appropriate users. We then empirically test the relationship between drug promotion and reporting of adverse reactions using an innovative combination of commercial data on pharmaceutical promotion and FDA data on regulatory interventions and adverse drug reactions. We provide some evidence that increased levels of promotion and advertising lead to increased reporting of adverse medical events for certain conditions.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w14634

Published: Guy David & Sara Markowitz & Seth Richards-Shubik, 2010. "The Effects of Pharmaceutical Marketing and Promotion on Adverse Drug Events and Regulation," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 1-25, November. citation courtesy of

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