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The intensity of competition after patent expiry in pharmaceuticals. A cross-country analysis

Listed author(s):
  • Fabio Pammolli
  • Laura Magazzini
  • Luigi Orsenigo

[eng] This paper shows that the relationships between the dynamics of drug priees, patent expiry, and competition by multisource drugs vary significantly across countries. A clear distinction seems to emerge. On the one side, systems that rely on market based competition (particularly the US) promote a clear distinction between firms that act as innovators and firms that act as imitators after patent expiry. Original products enjoy premium prices under patent protection, and face fierce price competition after patent expiry. On the contrary, systems that rely on administered prices (particularly France and Italy) nurture strategies of pre-emptive brand proliferation and horizontal differentiation by imitative brand name products, well before patent expiry. Our work confirms that that systems that rely on administered prices have tended to stifle price competition, to protect less efficient companies, and to encourage strategies of incremental innovation and imitation. [fre] Les relations entre les évolutions des prix, l'expiration des brevets et la concurrence varient considérablement, selon les pays. Une distinction nette apparaît. Dans les pays (États-Unis en particulier), dans lesquels domine la concurrence de marché, une distinction claire s'impose entre les firmes innovatrices et les firmes qui imitent après l'expiration des brevets. Les produits originaux bénéficient de primes importantes jusqu'à l'expiration des brevets, qui enclenche une concurrence féroce. Dans les pays à prix administrés (en particulier la France et l'Italie), le système encourage des stratégies de prolifération des marques et de différenciation horizontale, par voie d'imitation bien avant l'expiration des brevets. Ces systèmes à prix administrés ont tendance à étouffer la concurrence par les prix, à protéger les entreprises moins efficientes et à encourager des stratégies d'innovation incrémentales, par imitation.

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Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Revue d'économie industrielle.

Volume (Year): 99 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 107-131

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Handle: RePEc:prs:recind:rei_0154-3229_2002_num_99_1_1829
Note: DOI:10.3406/rei.2002.1829
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