ARE PHYSICIANS' PRESCRIBING DECISIONS SENSITIVE TO DRUG PRICES? EVIDENCE FROM A FREE-ANTIBIOTICS PROGRAM
Article first published online: 24 OCT 2013
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
How to Cite
Li, S. and Laxminarayan, R. (2013), ARE PHYSICIANS' PRESCRIBING DECISIONS SENSITIVE TO DRUG PRICES? EVIDENCE FROM A FREE-ANTIBIOTICS PROGRAM. Health Econ.. doi: 10.1002/hec.3008
- Article first published online: 24 OCT 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 25 SEP 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 1 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Received: 30 DEC 2012
- natural experiment;
- prescribing decisions
This paper investigates whether patient-level factors, in particular cost considerations, affect the physicians' prescribing decisions. In the context of a natural experiment, we examine the effect of the first US commercial free-antibiotics program on retail antibiotic sales. We find an overall increase in antibiotic prescriptions under the program and substitutions to covered antibiotics from not-covered antibiotics. The shift away from not-covered antibiotics, particularly from those without covered equivalents, indicates a change in the physicians' prescribing decisions. We locate stronger program effects in low-income areas. Our findings, robust to a variety of specifications, are in contrast with previous literature. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.