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Int J Health Care Finance Econ. 2005 Mar;5(1):47-73.

The impact of new drug launches on longevity: evidence from longitudinal, disease-level data from 52 countries, 1982-2001.

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  • 1Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, National Bureau of Economic Research, 614 Uris Hall, 3022 Broadway, New York, NY 10027, USA.


We perform an econometric analysis of the effect of new drug launches on longevity, using data from the IMS Health Drug Launches database and the WHO Mortality Database. Under conservative assumptions, our estimates imply that the average annual increase in life expectancy of the entire population resulting from new drug launches is about one week, and that the incremental cost effectiveness ratio (new drug expenditure per person per year divided by the increase in life-years per person per year attributable to new drug launches) is about $6750--far lower than most estimates of the value of a statistical life-year.

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