IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Price Differentiation and Transparency in the Global Pharmaceutical Marketplace

  • David B. Ridley

    (The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA)

Pharmaceutical manufacturers have increased the availability of their products and sometimes increased their own financial returns by charging lower prices outside of the US and by discounting to lower-income patients in the US. Examples include discounted HIV-AIDS drugs in developing countries and pharmaceutical manufacturers' discount cards in the US. Representatives of some international organisations argue that the price reductions are insufficient to make the medications widely available to lower-income patients. The WHO advocates both differential pricing and price transparency. While its efforts are well meaning, this paper identifies six concerns about its methods of comparing the price of a given molecule across manufacturers and across countries. More significantly, the WHO efforts to increase transparency are likely to lead to less price differentiation and less access to innovative pharmaceuticals. An important reason why manufacturers are reluctant to charge lower prices in lower-income countries is that they fear that such low prices will undermine the prices they charge to higher-income consumers. International organisations should not facilitate transparency but should dissuade governments from making price comparisons and basing their prices on those of lower-income countries. Furthermore, they should endeavour to keep low-priced and free drugs in the hands of the low-income consumers for which they were intended.

If 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.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Pay per view

File URL:
Download Restriction: Pay per view

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Springer Healthcare | Adis in its journal PharmacoEconomics.

Volume (Year): 23 (2005)
Issue (Month): 7 ()
Pages: 651-658

in new window

Handle: RePEc:wkh:phecon:v:23:y:2005:i:7:p:651-658
Contact details of provider: Web page:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wkh:phecon:v:23:y:2005:i:7:p:651-658. See general 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: (Dave Dustin)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.