This work examined the extent to which the introduction of new drugs has increased society's ability to produce goods and services by increasing the number of hours worked per member of the working-age population. Under very conservative assumptions, the estimates indicated that the value of the increase in ability to work attributable to new drugs is 2.5 times as great as expenditure on new drugs.
The study also found that the potential of medicines to increase employee productivity should be considered in the design of drug-reimbursement policies. Conversely, policies that broadly reduce the development and utilization of new drugs may ultimately reduce our ability to produce other goods and services.
Due to copyright issues, this study is only available through the JOEM website.