Drugs Don’t Help

In 2003, Bush had the US govt start to pay for drugs for seniors.  This induced seniors to use lots more drugs, but they were not any healthier.

We find that gaining prescription drug insurance through Medicare Part D was associated with an 63% increase in the number of annual prescriptions, but that obtaining prescription drug insurance is not significantly related to use of other health care services or health, as measured by functional status and self-reported health. Among those in poorer health, we find that gaining prescription drug insurance was associated with a 56% increase in the number of annual prescriptions, and is not significantly related to health. (more)

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  • http://danieltarmac.blogspot.com/ Henry

    Now the drugs don’t work, they just make you worse.

    (Well, if you care about fiscal costs).

  • jsalvatier

    I shouldn’t have to say this here: price marginal drugs don’t help.

  • http://ourdinnertable.wordpress.com Seth

    Perhaps a form of Jevons Paradox? Perhaps the availability of drugs creates the moral hazard for people to not be as prudent in the health decisions which offsets the effects of the drugs.

  • Bill

    Why did you leave off the last sentence of the summary:

    ” For this group, there is some evidence that prescription drug insurance was associated with a decrease in the use of outpatient services.”

  • JS Allen

    @Henry – that was my first thought, too 🙂