NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Does Misery Love Company? Evidence from pharmaceutical markets before and after the Orphan Drug Act

Frank R. Lichtenberg, Joel Waldfogel

NBER Working Paper No. 9750
Issued in June 2003
NBER Program(s):   HE

With substantial fixed costs of drug development, more common conditions can support more products. If additional pharmaceutical products are beneficial, they will attract greater consumption and promote better health, e.g. greater longevity. We ask how market size measured by condition prevalence affects consumption and longevity. We document in condition cross sections that both the tendency to use a drug and longevity are higher for individuals with more prevalent conditions. We also make use of the 1983 Orphan Drug Act (ODA), which promoted development of drugs for the treatment of rare conditions. Longevity and drug use have grown more quickly for persons with rare diseases and even more quickly for persons with conditions with substantial orphan drug use.

download in pdf format
   (129 K)

email paper

A non-technical summary of this paper is available in the December 2003 NBER digest.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Digest by email.

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

This paper is available as PDF (129 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Lichtenberg and Philipson w9303 The Dual Effects of Intellectual Property Regulations: Within- and Between- Patent Competition in the US Pharmaceuticals Industry
Hughes, Moore, and Snyder w9229 "Napsterizing" Pharmaceuticals: Access, Innovation, and Consumer Welfare
Lichtenberg and Virabhak w9351 Pharmaceutical-embodied technical progress, longevity, and quality of life: drugs as "equipment for your health"
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us