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Parallel imports and the pricing of pharmaceutical products: evidence from the European Union

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  • Ganslandt, Mattias
  • Maskus, Keith E.

Abstract

We consider policy issues regarding parallel imports (PIs) of brand-name pharmaceuticals in the European Union, where such trade is permitted. We develop a simple model in which an original manufacturer competes in its home market with PI firms. The model suggests that for small trade costs the original manufacturer will accommodate the import decisions of parallel traders and that the price in the home market falls as the volume of parallel imports rises. Using data from Sweden we find that the prices of drugs subject to competition from parallel imports fell relative to other drugs over the period 1994 - 1999. Econometric analysis finds that parallel imports significantly reduced manufacturing prices, by from 12 to 19 percent. There is evidence that this effect increases with multiple PI entrants.
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Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:23:y:2004:i:5:p:1035-1057
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Keith E. Maskus, 2000. "Parallel Imports," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(9), pages 1269-1284, September.
    2. Richard G. Frank & David S. Salkever, 1997. "Generic Entry and the Pricing of Pharmaceuticals," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(1), pages 75-90, March.
    3. Ganslandt, Mattias & Maskus, Keith E., 2001. "Parallel imports of pharmaceutical products in the European Union," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2630, The World Bank.
    4. repec:hhs:iuiwop:546 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Yongmin Chen, 2005. "Vertical Disintegration," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 209-229, March.
    6. Danzon, Patricia M. & Chao, Li-Wei, 2000. "Cross-national price differences for pharmaceuticals: how large, and why?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 159-195, March.
    7. Z. John Lu & William S. Comanor, 1998. "Strategic Pricing Of New Pharmaceuticals," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 108-118, February.
    8. Pecorino, Paul, 2002. "Should the US allow prescription drug reimports from Canada?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 699-708, July.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies

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