Presenter Information

Kevin Gray, Providence College

Location

Harkins 332, Providence College

Event Website

http://www.providence.edu/hpm/Pages/Conference.aspx

Start Date

31-3-2012 2:30 PM

End Date

31-3-2012 4:00 PM

Description

The first decade of the 21st century proved to be a time of turbulence and volatility in the worldwide economy. Oddly enough, even as Americans’ disposable income decreased, spending on health care steadily increased. Americans spent $249.9 billion on prescription drugs in 2009, contrasted against $120.9 billion in 2000—a 105% increase.1 We may question the overall ramifications of such increases in pharmaceutical sales and the correlation to other economic factors. That is, how was the pharmaceutical sector able to boast gains when the housing market collapsed? One answer is that people place a priority on their health, even with limited resources. A report sanctioned by the World Health Organization illustrates the problem when it states that, “It is hard to gauge the implications of the recession on people's health”.2 In this paper, I examine pharmaceutical sales figures to develop a better understanding of how the Great Recession (2009) affected health care and pharmaceutical expenditures in the United States.

A January 2011 Health Affairs article argues that, “In 2009, despite the economic downturn, the number of prescription drugs dispensed rebounded to prerecession rates of growth”.3 While the recession stifled the overall rate of spending on prescription drugs, Americans allocated a greater amount of GDP to pharmaceuticals—$249.9 billion in 2009 contrasted against $237.2 billion in 2008.4 The pharmaceutical industry, then, really dispenses recession-proof pills. Understanding the complexities of recession economics will ultimately illustrate the need for restructuring how pharmaceutical companies produce and government agencies regulate prescription drugs in the United States.

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Mar 31st, 2:30 PM Mar 31st, 4:00 PM

Recession Proof Pills: An Examination of the Relationship Between Recession Economics and Pharmaceutical Expenditures

Harkins 332, Providence College

The first decade of the 21st century proved to be a time of turbulence and volatility in the worldwide economy. Oddly enough, even as Americans’ disposable income decreased, spending on health care steadily increased. Americans spent $249.9 billion on prescription drugs in 2009, contrasted against $120.9 billion in 2000—a 105% increase.1 We may question the overall ramifications of such increases in pharmaceutical sales and the correlation to other economic factors. That is, how was the pharmaceutical sector able to boast gains when the housing market collapsed? One answer is that people place a priority on their health, even with limited resources. A report sanctioned by the World Health Organization illustrates the problem when it states that, “It is hard to gauge the implications of the recession on people's health”.2 In this paper, I examine pharmaceutical sales figures to develop a better understanding of how the Great Recession (2009) affected health care and pharmaceutical expenditures in the United States.

A January 2011 Health Affairs article argues that, “In 2009, despite the economic downturn, the number of prescription drugs dispensed rebounded to prerecession rates of growth”.3 While the recession stifled the overall rate of spending on prescription drugs, Americans allocated a greater amount of GDP to pharmaceuticals—$249.9 billion in 2009 contrasted against $237.2 billion in 2008.4 The pharmaceutical industry, then, really dispenses recession-proof pills. Understanding the complexities of recession economics will ultimately illustrate the need for restructuring how pharmaceutical companies produce and government agencies regulate prescription drugs in the United States.

http://digitalcommons.providence.edu/auchs/2012/panelc3/2