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For five years, the redoubtable seniors advocacy organization AARP has published quarterly reports on the prices of brand-name drugs. These reports steadfastly announce that pharmaceutical prices have risen far more rapidly than inflation, thus increasing the financial burden on seniors--a puzzling conclusion, as many of the most expensive drugs are now available to seniors as far-cheaper generics. At this event, Murray Aitken, vice president of IMS Health, the world's largest source of drug-price and sales data, and MIT professor Ernst Berndt will explain why their research shows that average drug prices for seniors have declined, not increased, by more than 20 percent. AEI economist John E. Calfee will moderate.
Registration and Luncheon
MURRAY AITKEN, IMS Health
ERNST BERNDT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
JOHN E. CALFEE, AEI
Murray L. Aitken is senior vice president of healthcare insight at IMS Health, responsible for the company's thought-leadership initiatives worldwide. He speaks regularly on the challenges facing the global pharmaceutical industry and the likely prospects for growth over the next five years. He is regularly quoted in major trade and general media, including the Financial Times, Fortune, BusinessWeek, the Associated Press, and Reuters. Mr. Aitken joined IMS in July 2001, after a fourteen-year career with McKinsey & Company. He was a leader in the pharmaceutical and medical-products practice from 1997 to 2001. During this time, he served major pharmaceutical companies on a range of strategic and organizational issues for senior R&D and commercial management. He was among McKinsey's thought leaders on issues related to pharmaceutical licensing and direct-to-consumer marketing. Earlier in his career with McKinsey, he helped establish and develop the company's Seoul, Korea, office serving the senior management of major Korean conglomerates. He was based there for six years.
Ernst R. Berndt is the Louis E. Seley Professor in Applied Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management and codirector of the Biomedical Enterprise Program at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. He is also the director of the National Bureau of Economic Research's Program on Technological Progress and Productivity Measurement. Until recently, he was chairperson of the Federal Economic Statistics Advisory Committee, an interagency advisory panel established by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Census Bureau, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. He has served on the editorial boards of numerous peer-reviewed journals; currently, he is a member of the editorial board of Health Affairs. Much of Mr. Berndt's recent research has focused on price, output, and outcomes measurement in the health care industries, and on regulatory policies at the Food and Drug Administration.
John E. Calfee is an economist who studies the pharmaceutical industry and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with the economics of tobacco, tort liability, and patents. He previously worked at the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Economics. He has also taught marketing and consumer behavior at the business schools of the University of Maryland at College Park and Boston University. While Mr. Calfee's current writings are mostly on pharmaceutical markets and FDA regulation, his academic articles and opinion pieces have covered a variety of topics, from patent law and tort liability to advertising and consumer information. He is the author of Prices, Markets, and the Pharmaceutical Revolution (AEI Press, 2000) and the coauthor of Biotechnology and the Patent System (AEI Press, 2007, with Claude Barfield). Mr. Calfee has testified before Congress and federal agencies on various topics, including alcohol advertising, biodefense vaccine research, international drug prices, and, most recently, FDA oversight of drug safety.