Z. John Lu

Dr. Lu is an expert in the biopharmaceutical industry and pharmaceutical economics.  He is the director of the UCLA Seminar on Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy.

The UCLA Seminar, now in its 32nd season, is the longest running seminar of its kind in the country.  It has hosted hundreds of speakers from academia, industry, regulatory agencies and investment community, covering a wide range of topics such as pharmaceutical R&D, patent policy, firm strategic behavior, economic evaluation and value-based pricing of new drugs, international reference pricing, generic drug global supply chain, etc.

Dr. Lu has published extensively in pharmaceutical economics, including a recently published major policy book: Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy: Perspectives, Promises, and Problems (co-authored with the late UCLA Professor Stuart Schweitzer; Oxford University Press, 2018).

Prior to joining academia, Dr. Lu was a health economist in the biopharmaceutical industry for two decades. He spent nearly 17 years at Amgen where he led an interdisciplinary team on economic evaluation, drug value demonstration, and pricing.  He also provided expert advice on public policy discussions regarding the biopharmaceutical industry. Dr. Lu has provided economic consulting services to numerous biopharmaceutical firms.

Dr. Lu is also a tenured associate professor of economics at the Martin V Smith School of Business and Economics, California State University, Channel Islands.


PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1993

Selected Publications: 

Lu ZJ, Comanor WS, Cherkas E, Phillips L. “The U.S. Pharmaceutical Market: Expenditures, Health Insurance, New Products and Generic Prescribing from 1960 to 2016.” International Journal of the Economics of Business. February 2020; 27 (1): 1-26.

Stuart O. Schweitzer and Z. John Lu (2018). Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy: Perspectives, Problems, and Promises (3rd edition, Oxford University Press).

Quan VD, Gillard P, Brashear A, Halperin M, Hayward E, Varon S, and Lu ZJ.  “Cost-Effectiveness of OnabotulinumtoxinA for the Treatment of Wrist and Hand Disability Due to Upper-Limb Post-Stroke Spasticity in Scotland.” European Journal of Neurology, May 2013, 20(5):773-780.

Chertow GM, Lu ZJ, Xu X, Bushinsky D, Knight T, Goodman WB, and Block G.  “Self-Reported Symptoms in Patients on Hemodialysis with Moderate to Severe Secondary Hyperparathyroidism Receiving the Combined Therapy with Cinacalcet and Low Dose Vitamin D Sterols.” Hemodialysis International, November 28, 2011: 1542-4758

Shireman TI,  Almehmi A, Wetmore JB, Lu ZJ, Pregenzer M, and Quarles LD.  “Economic analysis of cinacalcet in combination with low-dose vitamin D versus flexible dose vitamin D in treating secondary hyperparathyroidism in hemodialysis patients.” American Journal of Kidney Diseases, December 2010, 56(6):1108-16.

M Vera-Llonch, G Oster, C Ford, ZJ Lu, and S Sonis. “Oral mucositis and outcomes of allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation in patients with hematologic malignancies.” Supportive Care in Cancer October 2006; 15(5): 491-496.

PJ Stiff, C Emmanouilides, WI Bensinger, T Gentile, B Blazar, T Shea, ZJ Lu, J Isitt, A Cesano, and R Spielberger. “Palifermin (Kepivance) Reduces Patient Reported Mouth and Throat Soreness and Improves Patient Functioning in the Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Setting: Phase 3 Trial Results.” Journal of Clinical Oncology, February 2006; 24(4): 5186-5193.

JA Liu Yin, J. Goldstone, B. Standert, ZJ Lu, and H. Erder. “Estimating AML treatment cost in the UK: results of a randomized trial with and without filgrastim use.” Pharmacoeconomics, June 2002; 20(10): 665-674.

HA Glick, EJ Shpall, CF LeMaistre, TJ MaCarron, ZJ Lu, MH Erder, and JA Glaspy. “Empirical Criteria for the Selection of Quality-of-life Instruments for the Evaluation of Peripheral Blood Progenitor Cell Transplantation.” International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care, 1998; 14(3): 419-430. 

Z. John Lu and William S Comanor (1998). "Strategic Pricing of New Pharmaceuticals" The Review of Economics and Statistics, Feb 1998; 80(1): 108-118.