Health insurance and the uptake of new drugs in the United States

Marin Gemmill, Victoria Serra-Sastre and Joan Costa-Font

in The Economics of New Health Technologies

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780199550685
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191720543 | DOI:
 Health insurance and the uptake of new drugs in the United States

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This chapter investigates the effect of health insurance coverage on the use of relatively new prescription drugs. It focuses on statins, a class of lipid-lowering drugs that were considered a major breakthrough after a number of important clinical trials were published. The chapter is organized as follows: Section 2firstly it briefly reviews the literature on technology diffusion and the relationship between insurance and consumption, and also covers the institutional setting in the United States. Next it offers a model of pharmaceutical adoption. The next section provides the results of the analysis. Finally it concludes with a discussion of the results and the policy implications.

Keywords: health insurance coverage; drug use; new prescription drugs; statins; technology diffusion

Chapter.  6423 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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