Darius Lakdawalla is the Quintiles Chair in Pharmaceutical Development and Regulatory Innovation in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Southern California (USC). He is also a Professor of Public Policy in the Sol Price School of Public Policy and serves as a faculty member at the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at USC.


His research has been concerned with the economics of risks to health, the incentives and effects of medical innovation, the economics of health insurance markets, and the industrial organization of health care markets.


He has been the recipient of both the Milken Institute’s Distinguished Economic Research Award for best research in the field of economics, and the Garfield Prize for research on the economics of medical innovation.


Dr. Lakdawalla received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago and his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and Philosophy from Amherst College (Summa Cum Laude, and Phi Beta Kappa). His work has been published in leading journals of economics, medicine, and health policy, and funded by the National Institute of Aging, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the National Bureau of Economic Research.


Dr. Lakdawalla is currently a Research Associate in the Health Care and Health Economics programs at the National Bureau of Economic Research, in Cambridge, Mass.. He serves as an Associate Editor at the Review of Economics and Statistics and the American Journal of Health Economics, and as an Editorial Board member at the American Journal of Managed Care: Evidence-Based Diabetes and the American Journal of Managed Care: Evidence-Based Oncology.


The former Director of Research at both the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at USC, and at the Bing Center for Health Economics at the RAND Corporation, Dr. Lakdawalla is a Founding Partner at Precision Health Economics, a boutique health care consultancy in Los Angeles, CA.


Recent Posts by Darius Lakdawalla

The Case For Patient-Centered Assessment Of Value

Any plan that is enacted, whether a full replacement of the ACA or “fine-tuning” of the law, will likely require that patients make decisions about what constitutes value. At least two things need to happen to help people meet this challenge.

Value-Based Pricing For Pharmaceuticals In The Trump Administration

A bipartisan consensus has emerged that something must be done to tackle drug prices. There’s less consensus about what that something ought to be. One alternative, “value-based pricing,” may hold promise.

Value Frameworks For Rare Diseases: Should They Be Different?

Despite increases in rare disease treatments attributable to the Orphan Drug Act, the economic value of rare disease treatments has come under increasing scrutiny. Assessing the value of treatments for rare diseases presents several unique challenges that should be considered by policymakers.

Budget Criteria And Drug Value Assessments: A Case Of Apples And Oranges?

Health technology assessment will likely play an integral role in health care’s paradigm shift from a system that rewards volume to one that rewards value. More controversial, however, is the role of budgetary criteria in determining value and in governing access to health care technologies.

Moving Beyond Price-Per-Dose In The Pharmaceutical Industry

Hundreds of thousands of deaths, heart attacks, and strokes have been prevented due to lower cholesterol, yet many patients are missing out on lipid-lowering therapies. Our outdated "price-per-dose" model of pharmaceutical pricing limits access and produces a number of well-known side effects...

It’s Time For Value-Based Payment In Oncology

Value-based health care has risen to the top of the health policy agenda, as public and private payers search for ways to improve outcomes. It’s time to apply this principle in oncology.

Mortality Versus Survival In International Comparisons Of Cancer Care

In a recent paper, Soneji and Yang revisit a topic we first explored in the April 2012 issue of Health Affairs -- namely, whether the U.S. gets value for its cancer care. We found that life expectancy after cancer diagnosis rose more quickly for patients in the U.S. than for patients in Europe....

The End Of The Blockbuster? Implications For Pricing Of New Drugs

The productivity slowdown in drug innovation has been identified and widely discussed in recent years. In addition, the stagnation in the number of novel drugs (new molecular entities and new biologics) approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also been well-documented.  Less...

Harnessing The Promise Of Comparative Effectiveness Research

The Federal Government has made an unprecedented effort to publicly finance research on the effectiveness of medical treatments.  The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 established both the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid...

When Epidemiology Goes Astray: Valuing Cancer Care In The United States And Europe

In a recent Health Affairs paper, we documented that the United States has a significant survival advantage over much of Europe when it comes to cancer: 1.8 years for those diagnosed during our study window.  Furthermore, we showed over a 17-year period that this gap had widened, not narrowed,...