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A Note on Global Welfare in Pharmaceutical Patenting

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  • F. M. Scherer
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    Abstract

    This paper revisits the question of whether global welfare is higher under a uniform world-wide system of pharmaceutical product patents or with international rules allowing low-income nations to free-ride on the discoveries of firms in rich nations. Key variables include the extent to which free-riding reduces the discovery of new drugs, the rent potential of rich as compared to poor nations, the ratio of the marginal utility of income in poor as compared to rich nations, and the competitive environment within which R&D decisions are made. Global welfare is found to be higher with free-riding across plausible discovery impairment and income utility combinations, especially when rent-seeking behaviour leads to an expansion of R&D outlays exhausting appropriable rents. Copyright 2004 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal The World Economy.

    Volume (Year): 27 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 7 (07)
    Pages: 1127-1142

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:27:y:2004:i:7:p:1127-1142

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    Cited by:
    1. Erdal Atukeren, 2005. "R&D Races and Spillovers between the EU and the US: Some Causal Evidence," KOF Working papers, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich 05-105, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    2. Brekke, Kurt R. & Grasdal, Astrid L. & Holms, Tor Helge, 2009. "Regulation and pricing of pharmaceuticals: Reference pricing or price cap regulation?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 170-185, February.
    3. Ramello, Giovanni B., 2007. "Access to vs. exclusion from knowledge: Intellectual property, efficiency and social justice," POLIS Working Papers, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS 90, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
    4. Patricia M. Danzon & Eric L. Keuffel, 2013. "Regulation of the Pharmaceutical-Biotechnology Industry," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Regulation and Its Reform: What Have We Learned?, pages 407-484 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Ramello, Giovanni B., 2008. "Semiotica, diritto e mercato. Economia del marchio nel terzo millenio," POLIS Working Papers, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS 102, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
    6. Scherer, F. M., 2007. "Pharmaceutical Innovation," Working Paper Series, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government rwp07-004, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.

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