The Peltzman effect and compensatory markers in medicine

Vinay Prasad, Anupam B. Jena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Unintended consequences of health care interventions are unavoidable. For example, computerized order entry systems, implemented to reduce prescription errors, catalyze novel errors of their own, with providers unexpectedly relying on these systems to provide default dosing information rather than locating appropriate treatment guidelines. We argue that unintended behavioral responses by patients and physicians to health care interventions may explain why certain health care interventions that seem logical and foolproof fail to demonstrate real-world benefits. We argue that compensatory markers which measure behavioral responses in clinical trials should be implemented to better understand why real-world benefits fail to materialize.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-172
Number of pages3
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical trials
  • Systems interventions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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