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Price Regulation and Parallel Imports of Pharmaceuticals

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  • Brekke, Kurt R.

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Holmås, Tor Helge

    ()
    (Uni Rokkan Centre)

  • Straume, Odd Rune

    ()
    (University of Minho)

Abstract

This paper studies the effects of price regulation and parallel imports in the on-patent pharmaceutical market. First, we develop a theory model in which a pharmacy negotiates producer prices with a brand-name firm and then sets retail prices. We show that the effects of price regulation crucially depend on whether the producer faces competition from parallel imports. While parallel imports improve the bargaining position of the pharmacy, price regulation counteracts this effect and may even be profitable for the producer. Second, we use a unique dataset with information on sales and prices at both producer and retail level for 165 substances over four years (2004-7). Exploiting exogenous variation in the regulated price caps, we show that stricter price regulation reduces competition from parallel imports. While the effect is clearly negative on producer profits for substances without parallel imports, the e¤ect is not significant for substances with parallel imports. Finally, we show that stricter price regulation reduces total expenditures, but the e¤ect is much stronger for substances with parallel import. Thus, our results suggest that price regulation may promote both static and dynamic efficiency in the presence of parallel imports.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics in its series Discussion Paper Series in Economics with number 1/2014.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 10 Jan 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhheco:2014_001

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Keywords: Pharmaceutical market; Price regulation; Parallel imports.;

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References

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  1. Gene M. Grossman & Edwin L.-C. Lai, 2008. "Parallel imports and price controls," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(2), pages 378-402.
  2. 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.
  3. Gene M. Grossman & Edwin C.-L. Lai, 2006. "Parallel Imports and Price Controls," NBER Working Papers 12423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Granlund, David & Köksal, Miyase Yesim, 2011. "Parallel Imports and Mandatory Substitution Reform - A Kick or A Muff for Price Competition in Pharmaceuticals?," HUI Working Papers 49, HUI Research.
  5. Brekke, Kurt R. & Holmas, Tor Helge & Straume, Odd Rune, 2011. "Reference pricing, competition, and pharmaceutical expenditures: Theory and evidence from a natural experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 624-638.
  6. Maskus, Keith E. & Yongmin Chen, 2000. "Vertical price control and parallel imports - theory and evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2461, The World Bank.
  7. Pecorino, Paul, 2002. "Should the US allow prescription drug reimports from Canada?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 699-708, July.
  8. Kurt R. Brekke & Tor Helge Holmås & Odd Rune Straume, 2010. "Margins and Market Shares:Pharmacy Incentives for Generic Substitution," NIPE Working Papers 20/2010, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  9. Granlund, David & Köksal , Miyase Yesim, 2011. "Parallel Imports and Mandatory Substitution Reform - A Kick or A Muff for Price Competition in Pharmaceuticals?," UmeÃ¥ Economic Studies 824, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
  10. Brekke, Kurt R. & Grasdal, Astrid L. & Holmås, Tor Helge, 2006. "Regulation and Pricing of Pharmaceuticals: Reference Pricing or Price Cap Regulation?," Working Papers in Economics 14/06, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  11. Margaret K. Kyle, 2007. "Pharmaceutical Price Controls and Entry Strategies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 88-99, February.
  12. Kyle Margaret, 2011. "Strategic Responses to Parallel Trade," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(2), pages 1-34, January.
  13. Granlund, David & Yesim Köksal, Miyase, 2011. "Parallel Imports and Mandatory Substitution Reform: A kick or a muff for price competition in pharmaceuticals," Working Papers in Economics 496, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  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. Giaccotto, Carmelo & Santerre, Rexford E & Vernon, John A, 2005. "Drug Prices and Research and Development Investment Behavior in the Pharmaceutical Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(1), pages 195-214, April.
  16. Danzon, Patricia M & Chao, Li-Wei, 2000. "Does Regulation Drive out Competition in Pharmaceutical Markets?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 311-57, October.
  17. 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.
  18. John A. Vernon, 2005. "Examining the link between price regulation and pharmaceutical R&D investment," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(1), pages 1-16.
  19. Joseph H. Golec & John A. Vernon, 2006. "European Pharmaceutical Price Regulation, Firm Profitability, and R&D Spending," NBER Working Papers 12676, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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