The Impact of Drug Vintage on Patient Survival: A Patient-Level Analysis Using Quebec’s Provincial Health Plan Data

Full text for this resource is not available from the Research Repository.

Lichtenberg, Frank R, Grootendorst, Paul, Van Audenrode, Marc, Latremouille-Viau, Dominick and Lefebvre, Patrick (2009) The Impact of Drug Vintage on Patient Survival: A Patient-Level Analysis Using Quebec’s Provincial Health Plan Data. Value in Health, 12 (6). pp. 847-856. ISSN 1098-3015


Objectives: There is some debate about the value received for the money spent on prescription drugs. Some argue that most drug spending is on “me-too” drugs—drugs that provide only marginal health gains. Others suggest that the opposite is true—new drugs offer good value for money and are well worth the cost. To provide evidence on this issue, we evaluated the impact of drug innovation on the longevity of Canadians. Methods: We analyzed patient-level claims data from Quebec's provincial health plan. We selected elderly patients with continuous health coverage dispensed at least one drug prescription in each year of the study period, 1997 to 2006. Drug vintage was defined as the active ingredient's earliest marketed date. We estimated the impact of drug vintage on patient survival using a time-varying Cox proportional hazards model that controlled for year indicator variables, patient age, sex, region of residence, low income status, medical services use, concomitant drug use, and comorbidities. Results: Of the 102,743 subjects in the study population, 14,154 (14%) died during the study period. Mean patient age was 68 years; 59% were women. Our survival models indicated that the use of newer medications was associated with a statistically significant mortality risk reduction (hazard ratio: 0.522; 95% confidence interval: 0.476 to 0.572, P < 0.0001), relative to older medications. Other covariates associated with an increased risk of mortality included age, sex (male), low guaranteed income supplement status, hospitalization, and number of comorbidities. Conclusion: This analysis showed that recent drug innovation has had a significant beneficial impact on the longevity of elderly patients.

Dimensions Badge

Altmetric Badge

Item type Article
DOI 10.1111/j.1524-4733.2009.00532.x
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1402 Applied Economics
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Centre for Strategic Economic Studies (CSES)
Historical > FOR Classification > 1115 Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Historical > SEO Classification > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health)
Keywords ResPubID17922, Canada, drug innovation, longevity, pharmaceuticals, survival
Citations in Scopus 8 - View on Scopus
Download/View statistics View download statistics for this item

Search Google Scholar

Repository staff login