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

Int J Health Care Finance Econ. 2005 Mar;5(1):47-73. doi: 10.1007/s10754-005-6601-7.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Diffusion of Innovation
  • Drug Approval / statistics & numerical data*
  • Drug Industry / economics*
  • Drug Industry / statistics & numerical data
  • Global Health*
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • International Classification of Diseases
  • Life Expectancy / trends*
  • Life Tables*
  • Longevity / drug effects*
  • Models, Econometric
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / economics
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / supply & distribution
  • Probability
  • Research Support as Topic / economics*
  • Research Support as Topic / statistics & numerical data
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Survival Analysis


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations