William Comanor

Dr. William S. Comanor is Professor of Health Policy and Management and also Professor of Economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. At UCLA, he is Director of the Research Program on Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy and also organizes a Seminar by the same name. Dr. Comanor received his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University in 1964. Since completing his dissertation on "The Economics of Research and Development in the Pharmaceutical Industry," that subject has been one of his primary interests. He has written and lectured on various topics in this area, and founded the Research Program he now directs. From 1991 through 1993, he served on the Advisory Panel of a Federal Government Study on Pharmaceutical Research and Development, and from 1978 through 1980 was Chief Economist and Director of the Bureau of Economics at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in Washington.


  • PhD, Economics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Areas of Interest

  • Pharmaceutical Research and Development        

Selected Publications

  • "Research and Competitive Product Differentiation in the Pharmaceutical Industry in the United States," Economica, November 1964.
  • "Research and Technical Change in the Pharmaceutical Industry," Beview of Economics and Statistics, May 1965.
  • "The Drug Industry and Medical Research: The Economics of the Kefauver Committee Investigation," Journal of Business, January 1966.
  • "Competition in the Pharmaceutical Industry," Issues in Pharmaceutical Economics, Lexington Books, Robert I. Chien, ed., Chapter 4, pp. 63-68, 1979.
  • "National Health Insurance in Ontario: The Effects of a Policy of Cost Control," American Enterprise Institute, pp. 1-57, 1980.
  • "Competition and Innovation in the Pharmaceutical Industry," Drugs and Health: Economic Issues and Policy Objectives, American Enterprise Institute, R.B. Helms. ed., 1981.
  • "The Pharmaceutical Industry from an International Perspective," review of The International Supply of Medicines by Robert B. Helms, The Antitrust Bulletin, Winter 1983, Col. XXVIII.
  • "The Political Economy of the Pharmaceutical Industry" Journal of Economic Literature, Vol. XXIV, September, 1986.
  • "Pharmaceuticals" (with Stuart O. Schweitzer in The Structure of American Industry, Walter Adams and James W. Brock, eds, 1994.
  • "Profitability in the Pharmaceutical Industry," Robert B. Helms, ed., Competitive Strategies in the Pharmaceutical Industry, American Enterprise Institute. 1996.
  • "The Cost of Pharmaceuticals,"(with Stuart O. Schweitzer) in R.A. Andersen, et al., eds., Changing the U.S. Health Care System, San Francisco, Jossey Bass, Inc., 1996
  • "Strategic Pricing of New Pharmaceuticals," (with Z. John Lu), Review of Economics and Statistics, Feb. 1998.