Differential Pricing for Pharmaceuticals: Reconciling Access, R&D and Patents
AbstractThis paper reviews the economic case for patents and the potential for differential pricing to increase affordability of on-patent drugs in developing countries while preserving incentives for innovation. Differential pricing, based on Ramsey pricing principles, is the second best efficient way of paying for the global joint costs of pharmaceutical R&D. Assuming demand elasticities are related to income, it would also be consistent with standard norms of equity. To achieve appropriate and sustainable price differences will require either that higher-income countries forego trying to "import" low drug prices from low-income countries, through parallel trade and external referencing, or that such practices become less feasible. The most promising approach that would prevent both parallel trade and external referencing is for payers/purchasers on behalf of developing countries to negotiate contracts with companies that include confidential rebates. With confidential rebates, final transactions prices to purchasers can differ across markets while manufacturers sell to distributors at uniform prices, thus eliminating opportunities for parallel trade and external referencing. The option of compulsory licensing of patented products to generic manufacturers may be important if they truly have lower production costs or originators charge prices above marginal cost, despite market separation. However, given the risks inherent in compulsory licensing, it seems best to first try the approach of strengthening market separation, to enable originator firms to maintain differential pricing. With assured market separation, originators may offer prices comparable to the prices that a local generic firm would charge, which eliminates the need for compulsory licensing. Differential pricing could go a long way to improve LDC access to drugs that have a high income market. However, other subsidy mechanisms will be needed to promote R&D for drugs that have no high income market.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Regulation2point0 in its series Working paper with number 258.
Date of creation: Jul 2003
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://regulation2point0.org/
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.:
- Mattias Ganslandt & Keith E. Maskus & Eina V. Wong, 2001.
"Developing and Distributing Essential Medicines to Poor Countries: The DEFEND Proposal,"
The World Economy,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(6), pages 779-795, 06.
- Ganslandt, Mattias & Maskus, Keith E. & Wong, Eina V., 2001. "Developing and Distributing Essential Medicines to Poor Countries: The DEFEND Proposal," Working Paper Series 552, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
- 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.
- 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.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral 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: (Archive Maintainer).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.