Schaeffer Center Seminar Series: Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, Senior Economist, RAND

Rosalie Liccardo Pacula will present “Does Prescription Drug Coverage Increase Opioid Abuse? Evidence from Medicare Part D”

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
The Schaeffer Center

About the Paper
Opioid abuse, as measured by deaths involving opioid analgesics and substance abuse treatment admissions, has increased dramatically since 1999, including a 20% increase in opioid-related mortality between 2005 and 2006. This paper examines whether the introduction of the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Program (Part D) in 2006 may have contributed to the increase in prescription drug abuse by expanding access to prescription drug benefits among the elderly.

About Pacula 
Rosalie Liccardo Pacula
is a Senior Economist at the RAND Corporation and a Professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. She serves as Director of RAND’s BING Center for Health Economics and is co-director of the RAND’s Drug Policy Research Center.  Her research at RAND over the last 20 years has largely focused on issues related to illegal or imperfect markets (health care markets, insurance markets, illicit drug markets, and, most recently, counterfeit goods): measurement of the size of these markets, the impact they have on behaviour, and the effectiveness of policy interventions at targeting behaviour within these markets.  She has spent significant time studying the demand and supply of legal and illegal intoxicating substances and the effectiveness of policies at preventing, treating or reducing the harms from these behaviours.   Dr. Pacula’s currently funded projects include an evaluation of the impact of medical marijuana policies on the consumption of and public health harms associated with recreational marijuana, a project to model prescription drug abuse among the military and the effectiveness of prevention and treatment options, an examination of barriers to the diffusion of buprenorphine ( an efficacious pharmacotherapy for dealing with heroin), and the construction of an international microsimulation platform that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of alternative alcohol prevention and treatment strategies by drawing on a broader range of policies adopted in high and middle income countries, including the U.S., Russia and Mexico.
Dr. Pacula has also worked extensively on issues related to the health care market place, particularly the extent to which expansion of health insurance for behavioural health care influences the availability, utilization, and cost of behavioural health care services.  She has examined the impact of health insurance benefit design on access, utilization and cost of health care services, particularly mental health and addiction services.  Other analyses have considered shortages of treatment providers, particularly in rural areas.  Recently, she was part of a RAND team that examined competition in health care benefit design across the U.S., by looking at data available the federal and state health insurance exchanges.  
Dr. Pacula has been a member of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) since 1997, belonging to three NBER Programs: Health Economics, the Children Program, and Economics and Crime.  She has served as a regular scientific reviewer for the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and a number of foundations.  She is a frequent advisor to the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the European Commission on issues related to substance abuse, addiction, the drug-crime connection, and drug markets.   She currently serves as an advisor to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Public Health Law Research Program, and the NIDA- funded Monitoring the Future Survey.  She is an elected board member to the Coordinating Committee of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy (ISSDP) and serves on a standing committee of the American Society for Health Economics (ASHE).  She is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Drug Policy and the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis, and is an Assistant Editor for the international drug journal, Addiction.  Pacula received her Ph.D. in Economics from Duke University.

Dr. Pacula can be reached at RAND’s Santa Monica office, 1776 Main St., P.O. Box 2138, Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138; ph: 310-393-0411 ext 6494; email:



Event Date