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Gender differences in physician decisions to adopt new prescription drugs

Susan Mendez (), Anthony Scott () and Yuting Zhang

Social Science & Medicine, 2021, vol. 277, issue C

Abstract: Physician adoption of new technologies is a key issue for population health and the sustainability of the healthcare system. This paper explores gender differences in general practitioners' (GPs) adoption of new oral anticoagulants. We combine detailed individual data on physician and practice style characteristics from the Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life (MABEL) panel survey of Australian physicians with administrative prescribing data from the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) for the period January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2015. After adjusting for various factors proposed in the literature as drivers of this gender gap, in addition to risk preferences and personality traits, we find a large statistical gender difference in the speed of adoption with men being faster than women in uptake. However, conditional on having prescribed for the first time, female and male GPs differ only slightly in the intensity of use of these new drugs. We show that the gender gap depends on the measure of uptake and discuss possible channels that could be driving the relatively large gender difference that remains in the speed of adoption.

Keywords: Australia; Gender; Primary care; Innovation; Pharmaceuticals (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.113886

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