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Pharmaceutical Stock Price Reactions to Price Constraint Threats and Firm-Level R&D Spending

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  • Joseph Golec
  • Shantaram Hegde
  • John A. Vernon
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    Abstract

    Political pressure in the United States is again building to constrain pharmaceutical prices either directly or through legalized reimportation of lower-priced pharmaceuticals from foreign countries. This study uses the Clinton Administration's Health Security Act (HSA) of 1993 as a natural experiment to show how threats of price constraints affect firm-level R&D spending. We link events surrounding the HSA to pharmaceutical company stock price changes and then examine the cross-sectional relation between the stock price changes and subsequent unexpected R&D spending changes. Results show that the HSA had significant negative effects on firm stock prices and R&D spending. Conservatively, the HSA reduced R&D spending by $1.6 billion, even though it never became law. If the HSA had passed, and had many small firms not raised capital just prior to the HSA, the R&D effects could have been much larger.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11229.

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    Date of creation: Mar 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11229

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    1. Hall, Bronwyn, 2002. "The Financing of Research and Development," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5rf0x9gz, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    2. Ilan Guedj & David Scharfstein, 2004. "Organizational Scope and Investment: Evidence from the Drug Development Strategies and Performance of Biopharmaceutical Firms," NBER Working Papers 10933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Sara Fisher Ellison & Catherine Wolfram, 2001. "Pharmaceutical Prices and Political Activity," NBER Working Papers 8482, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    8. Ellison, Sara Fisher & Mullin, Wallace P, 2001. "Gradual Incorporation of Information: Pharmaceutical Stocks and the Evolution of President Clinton's Health Care Reform," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 89-129, April.
    9. Amy Finkelstein, 2004. "Static and Dynamic Effects of Health Policy: Evidence From the Vaccine Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 527-564, May.
    10. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
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    Cited by:
    1. Ernst R. Berndt, 2007. "A primer on the economics of re-importation of prescription drugs," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(4-5), pages 415-435.

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