Technology Adoption

Superstars drive regional drug use

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Science  13 Apr 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6385, pp. 167-168
DOI: 10.1126/science.360.6385.167-g

A recent study finds that early adoption of new cancer drugs was geographically influenced by high-profile investigators (“superstars”) on the key clinical trials supporting the drugs. Agha and Molitor combed treatment records and clinical trial publications for 21 newly approved drugs in the United States. Patients in the same region as the lead investigator on the key trial were 36% more likely to use the drug during the first 2 years after it was approved and showed better rates of survival. These findings suggest that policies to promote the adoption of technology may blunt the potential impact if they do not include improved local information.

Rev. Econ. Stat. 100, 29 (2018).

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