Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Political Science

Date of Defense

5-6-2010

Graduate Advisor

Brady Baybeck

Committee

Dr. David Kimball

Dr. William Lowry

Dr. David Robertson

Abstract

Within the realm of health care, prescription drugs have been of particular concern for state legislators in terms of cost, safety, and distribution. Whether prompted by financial, social, or political pressure, states have tried to address issues associated with prescription medications by adopting or attempting to adopt a variety of prescription drug policies. My dissertation expands beyond the analysis of a singular prescription drug policy and examines the factors affecting prescription drug policies aimed at acquisition, safety and distribution. A negative binomial regression model is employed for each of the prescription drug policy areas to ascertain the influence of internal, external and political factors. The results suggest that factors influencing state prescription drug policy differ for each of the policy subareas. In particular, proportion of the population with a bachelor’s degree, neighboring states with a policy, and liberal ideology had an effect on the number of prescription drug policies aimed at acquisition. However, the slack financial resources, neighboring states with a policy and issue saliency had an effect on the number of prescription drug policies aimed at safety. Additionally, the proportion of the population with a bachelor’s degree, neighboring states with a policy, and interest group financial contributions to legislators had an effect on the number of prescription drug policies aimed at distribution. This dissertation expands on our understanding of the factors influencing prescription drug policy. The results indicate that factors influencing one particular policy arena may vary when analyzing a subset of policies within a particular policy. Specifically, the results suggest that factors influencing the adoption of prescription drug policy vary across the three types of prescription drug policies of acquisition, safety and distribution.

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