Contribution of Pharmaceutical Innovation to Longevity Growth in Germany and France, 2001–7

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Abstract

This paper investigates the contribution of pharmaceutical innovation to recent longevity growth in Germany and France. The effect of the vintage of prescription drugs (and other variables) on the life expectancy and age-adjusted mortality rates of residents of Germany is examined, using longitudinal, annual, state-level data during the period 2001–7. The estimates imply that about one-third of the 1.4-year increase in German life expectancy during the period 2001–7 was due to the replacement of older drugs by newer drugs. The effect of the vintage of chemotherapy treatments on age-adjusted cancer mortality rates of residents of France is also investigated, using longitudinal, annual, cancer-site-level data during the period 2002–6. The estimates imply that chemotherapy innovation accounted for at least one-sixth of the decline in French cancer mortality rates, and may have accounted for as much as half of the decline.

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