Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Medicines in parallel trade in the European Union: a gravity specification

Contents:

Author Info

  • Joan Costa-i-Font
  • Panos Kanavos
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    While recent research has explored the phenomenon of drug parallel trade in regulated environments such as the European Union (EU), or the European Economic Area, little is known about the mechanisms that explain its origin or the role of the distribution chain in exporting and importing countries in determining its extent. By building on theoretical literature explaining the role of the distribution chain, this paper draws on an empirical specification of a gravity model to examine the determinants of inter-country flows of parallel-traded drugs. In this context, the paper deals with the effect of differences in the regulation of and competition in the distribution chain in the countries of origin and destination. The paper draws on proprietary data from the Intercontinental Medical Statistics database (for the Netherlands and other EU countries that export to the Netherlands) which identify the country of origin of parallel-imported medicines from 1997-2002 for a therapeutic group (statins) for which there is no generic competition. The study reveals that although parallel trade is a specific form of arbitrage, it is primarily a regulation-induced phenomenon. As a result, although the driving force for parallel trade is price differences across countries, the propagation mechanism lies in (a) the way drug prices are regulated across countries and (b) fragmentation and the underlying incentive structure in the wholesale distribution chain in countries where drug prices are regulated. The implications that flow from our study are that a more flexible and competitive and less fragmented (along national borders) distribution chain, particularly at wholesale level, might reduce the extent of and potential for parallel trade.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/28787/
    File Function: Open access version.
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 28787.

    as in new window
    Length: 30 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:28787

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.
    Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
    Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords: parallel trade; arbitrage; pharmaceuticals; economic integration; price regulation; vertical integration and drug distribution;

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Izabela Jelovac & Catalina Bordoy, 2005. "Pricing and Welfare Implications of Parallel Imports in the Pharmaceutical Industry," International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-21, January.
    2. Laszlo Matyas, 1997. "Proper Econometric Specification of the Gravity Model," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 363-368, 05.
    3. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
    4. Valletti, Tommaso M., 2006. "Differential pricing, parallel trade, and the incentive to invest," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 314-324, September.
    5. Malueg, David A. & Schwartz, Marius, 1994. "Parallel imports, demand dispersion, and international price discrimination," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3-4), pages 167-195, November.
    6. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 69-85, Fall.
    7. Stefan Szymanski & Tommaso Valletti, 2005. "Parallel trade, price discrimination, investment and price caps," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 20(44), pages 705-749, October.
    8. Elias Mossialos & Monique F. Mrazek, 2003. "The regulation of pharmacies in six countries: report prepared for the Office of Fair Trading," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 22505, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Egger, Peter, 2000. "A note on the proper econometric specification of the gravity equation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 25-31, January.
    10. Jeffrey A. Frankel and Shang-Jin Wei., 1993. "Emerging Currency Blocs," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C93-026, University of California at Berkeley.
    11. Bougheas, Spiros & Demetriades, Panicos O. & Morgenroth, Edgar L. W., 1999. "Infrastructure, transport costs and trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 169-189, February.
    12. Ganslandt, Mattias & Maskus, Keith E., 2004. "Parallel Import and the Pricing of Pharmaceutical Products: Evidence from the European Union," Working Paper Series 622, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    13. Andrew K. Rose & Eric van Wincoop, 2001. "National Money as a Barrier to International Trade: The Real Case for Currency Union," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 386-390, May.
    14. Yongmin Chen & Keith Maskus, 2005. "Vertical Pricing and Parallel Imports," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 1-18.
    15. Andrew K. Rose, 2001. "Currency unions and trade: the effect is large," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 16(33), pages 449-461, October.
    16. Tommaso Valletti & Stefan Szymanski, 2006. "Parallel Trade, International Exhaustion and Intellectual Property Rights: A Welfare Analysis," CEIS Research Paper 75, Tor Vergata University, CEIS.
    17. Pecorino, Paul, 2002. "Should the US allow prescription drug reimports from Canada?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 699-708, July.
    18. Richardson, Martin, 2002. "An elementary proposition concerning parallel imports," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 233-245, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:28787. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lucy Ayre).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.