Eliminating the U.S. drug lag: Implications for drug safety

Olson, Mary
August 2013
Journal of Risk & Uncertainty;Aug2013, Vol. 47 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
An increase in new drugs first launched in the U.S. and shorter lags between first global drug launch and U.S. approval indicate that the U.S. drug lag has declined. This paper examines the impact of these changes on drug safety using adverse drug reaction data for FDA-approved drugs in 1990 to 2004. Results show two different effects. First, drugs having longer U.S. launch lags (more foreign market experience) have fewer post approval drug risks compared to drugs with shorter launch lags. This result implies that foreign market experience prior to U.S. entry provides information to help alleviate drug-related risks for U.S. patients. Second, drugs that are first launched in the U.S. have fewer serious drug reactions compared to those that were first launched abroad. This result is surprising, and may suggest that first U.S. drug launch signals information about unobserved application quality, which translates into lower post approval drug risks.


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