NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Douglas L. Cocks

Eli Lilly and Company

NBER Working Papers and Publications

September 1997Is Price Inflation Different for the Elderly? An Empirical Analysis of Prescription Drugs
with Ernst R. Berndt, Iain M. Cockburn, Arnold Epstein, Zvi Griliches: w6182
Using annual IMS data from 1990 to 1996, we examine empirically whether whether elderly-nonelderly price inflation differentials exist for one medical item, namely, prescription pharmaceuticals. We assess prices for Rx for Rx drugs destined for ultimate use by the elderly vs. the nonelderly at three points in the distribution chain: initial sales from manufacturers, intermediate purchases by retail pharmacies, and final sales from retail pharmacies to patients/payors. We find that at the initial point in the distribution chain, there are no differences in price inflation for the aggregate of drugs destined for use by the elderly vs. the nonelderly. At the intermediate sell-in to pharmacy distribution point, we examine antibiotics (ABs), antidepressants (ADs) and calcium channel blockers ...

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