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Does competition stimulate drug utilization? The impact of changes in market structure on US drug prices, marketing and utilization

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  • Duflos, Gautier
  • Lichtenberg, Frank R.

Abstract

Microeconomic theory implies that the demand for prescription drugs should be inversely related to drug prices and directly related to marketing expenditure. Changes in market structure due to patent expiration or other factors is likely to reduce both the average price of a drug and marketing expenditure, so the effect of increased competition on total utilization of a drug is theoretically indeterminate. We use longitudinal, molecule-level data on virtually all prescription drugs sold during the period 2000–2004 to analyze the impact of changes in market structure (primarily resulting from patent expiration) on U.S. drug prices, marketing, and utilization. Price and marketing expenditure both decline by about 50–60% in the years immediately following generic entry, but the number of prescriptions remains essentially constant during those years. The two effects of increased competition on utilization – positive (via price), and negative (via marketing) – almost exactly offset one another, so the net effect of patent expiration on drug utilization is zero.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Review of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 32 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 95-109

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Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:32:y:2012:i:1:p:95-109

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/irle

Related research

Keywords: Pharmaceutical; Competition; Patent; Marketing; Generic drugs; Drug prices;

References

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  1. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, December.
  2. Grabowski, Henry G & Vernon, John M, 1992. "Brand Loyalty, Entry, and Price Competition in Pharmaceuticals after the 1984 Drug Act," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 331-50, October.
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  8. Ching, Andrew T., 2010. "Consumer learning and heterogeneity: Dynamics of demand for prescription drugs after patent expiration," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 619-638, November.
  9. Glenn Ellison & Sara Fisher Ellison, 2011. "Strategic Entry Deterrence and the Behavior of Pharmaceutical Incumbents Prior to Patent Expiration," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 1-36, February.
  10. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson & Y. Richard Wang, 2006. "Intellectual Property and Marketing," NBER Working Papers 12577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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