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European Pharmaceutical Price Regulation, Firm Profitability, and R&D Spending

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  • Joseph H. Golec
  • John A. Vernon
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    Abstract

    EU countries closely regulate pharmaceutical prices whereas the U.S. does not. This paper shows how price constraints affect the profitability, stock returns, and R&D spending of EU and U.S. firms. Compared to EU firms, U.S. firms are more profitable, earn higher stock returns, and spend more on research and development (R&D). Some differences have increased over time. In 1986, EU pharmaceutical R&D exceeded U.S. R&D by about 24 percent, but by 2004, EU R&D trailed U.S. R&D by about 15 percent. During these 19 years, U.S. R&D spending grew at a real annual compound rate of 8.8 percent, while EU R&D spending grew at a real 5.4 percent rate. Results show that EU consumers enjoyed much lower pharmaceutical price inflation, however, at a cost of 46 fewer new medicines introduced by EU firms and 1680 fewer EU research jobs.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12676.

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    Date of creation: Nov 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12676

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    1. Campa, José Manuel & Hernando, Ignacio, 2004. "Shareholder Value Creation in European M&As," CEPR Discussion Papers 4400, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Ganslandt, Mattias & Maskus, Keith E., 2004. "Parallel imports and the pricing of pharmaceutical products: evidence from the European Union," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 1035-1057, September.
    5. DiMasi, Joseph A. & Hansen, Ronald W. & Grabowski, Henry G., 2003. "The price of innovation: new estimates of drug development costs," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 151-185, March.
    6. Aktas, Nihat & de Bodt, Eric & Roll, Richard, 2004. "Market Response to European Regulation of Business Combinations," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(04), pages 731-757, December.
    7. 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.
    8. DiMasi, Joseph A. & Hansen, Ronald W. & Grabowski, Henry G. & Lasagna, Louis, 1991. "Cost of innovation in the pharmaceutical industry," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 107-142, July.
    9. José Manuel Campa & Ignacio Hernando, 2004. "Shareholder Value Creation in European M&As," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 10(1), pages 47-81.
    10. Lichtenberg, Frank R, 1996. "Do (More and Better) Drugs Keep People Out of Hospitals?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 384-88, May.
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    Cited by:
    1. 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, vol. 53(2), pages 170-185, February.
    2. Kurt R. Brekke & Tor Helge Holmås & Odd Rune Straume, 2014. "Price Regulation and Parallel Imports of Pharmaceuticals," NIPE Working Papers 01/2014, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.

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