Innovation in small markets

The introduction of new treatment technologies typically occurs where there is a large market.  A lot of innovations are developed to treat disease that affect a large number of people in the developed world because the financial returns are large.  It is less likely to observe innovation in the treatment of rare diseases or diseases…

Why aren’t there more cures?

The answer is money, reimbursement, and incentives.  Treating chronic disease gives innovators payoff over a long period of time.  If innovators created a cure for that disease, they could of course charge the net present value of this same stream of payments.  Health plans, patients and the media, however, are often shocked at the high sticker…

Supply side health reform

Alex Tabarrok of Marginal Revolution notes that designing a health care system that focuses on benefits to consumers and is important, but one should not ignore how any health care system design affects the supply of health care, in particular incentives to create innovative goods and services. By greater spending on medical research, I mean not…

Does tort reform harm innovation?

The answer appears to be yes according to an NBER working paper by Galasso and Luo: We find that, on average, laws that limit the liability exposure of healthcare providers are associated with a significant reduction in medical device patenting and that the effect is predominantly driven by innovators located in the states passing the…