Healthcare research at Stanford is conducted independently and collaboratively across the university's schools of business, medicine, law, and engineering. Research projects are usually faculty-driven, but they can involve PhD and MBA students.
To review selected health-related research papers authored by GSB faculty members and their teams, visit the Published Research page. We also encourage you to learn about our research project on global health innovation.
The Effect of Medicare Reimbursement on Drug Availability
Associate Professor Ali Yurukoglu is applying his background in economics to investigate the factors behind the recent rise in shortages of sterile injectable pharmaceutical drugs in the United States (oncology drugs used in chemotherapy, anesthesia agents, etc.). Leading professional societies in the field have separately detailed how shortages result in worse patient outcomes, higher medical care costs, and delays in clinical trials for new therapies. Because most of the drugs that have had shortages are off-patent and remain widely available outside the U.S., the situation has been frustrating to providers and healthcare providers alike.
Professor Yurukoglu’s work attributes these shortages to a 2005 policy change that reduced reimbursements by Medicare to health service providers that administer these drugs. Specifically, he concludes that Medicare’s generous payments before the policy change provided manufacturers with incentives to take actions to avoid shortages either by investing in additional maintenance or capacity, or by inducing more entry into production of the drug. His paper further presents empirical evidence that a properly designed increase would likely reduce shortages.
Watch a short video of Yurukoglu discussing this project on the Faculty page.