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.
Volume 24, Issue 2, pages 158–174, February 2015
How to Cite
2015), Are Physicians' Prescribing Decisions Sensitive to Drug Prices? Evidence from a Free-antibiotics Program, Health Econ., 24; pages 158–174, doi: 10.1002/hec.3008, and (
- Issue published online: 9 JAN 2015
- 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.