Cross-National Evidence on Generic Pharmaceuticals: Pharmacy vs. Physician-Driven Markets
AbstractThis paper examines the role of regulation and competition in generic markets. Generics offer large potential savings to payers and consumers of pharmaceuticals. Whether the potential savings are realized depends on the extent of generic entry and uptake and the level of generic prices. In the U.S., the regulatory, legal and incentive structures encourage prompt entry, aggressive price competition and patient switching to generics. Key features are that pharmacists are authorized and incentivized to switch patients to cheap generics. By contrast, in many other high and middle income countries, generics traditionally competed on brand rather than price because physicians rather than pharmacies are the decision-makers. Physician-driven generic markets tend to have higher generic prices and may have lower generic uptake, depending on regulations and incentives. Using IMS data to analyze generic markets in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, U.K., Italy, Spain, Japan, Australia, Mexico, Chile, Brazil over the period 1998-2009, we estimate a three-equation model for number of generic entrants, generic prices and generic volume shares. We find little effect of originator defense strategies, significant differences between unbranded and unbranded generics, variation across countries in volume response to prices. Policy changes adopted to stimulate generic uptake and reduce generic prices have been successful in some E.U. countries.
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Date of creation: Jul 2011
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
- I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
- K2 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law
- L5 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy
- L65 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-07-27 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2011-07-27 (Business Economics)
- NEP-COM-2011-07-27 (Industrial Competition)
- NEP-HEA-2011-07-27 (Health Economics)
- NEP-HME-2011-07-27 (Heterodox Microeconomics)
- NEP-REG-2011-07-27 (Regulation)
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