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Pharmaceutical promotion and GP prescription behaviour

  • Frank Windmeijer

    (Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies, London, UK)

  • Eric de Laat

    (CPB-Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, The Hague, The Netherlands)

  • Rudy Douven

    (CPB-Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, The Hague, The Netherlands)

  • Esther Mot

    (CPB-Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, The Hague, The Netherlands)

The aim of this paper is to empirically analyse the responses by general practitioners to promotional activities for ethical drugs by pharmaceutical companies. Promotion can be beneficial as a means of providing information, but it can also be harmful in the sense that it lowers price sensitivity of doctors and it merely is a means of maintaining market share, even when cheaper, therapeutically equivalent drugs are available. A model is estimated that includes interactions of promotion expenditures and prices and that explicitly exploits the panel structure of the data, allowing for drug specific effects and dynamic adjustments, or habit persistence. The data used are aggregate monthly GP prescriptions per drug together with monthly outlays on drug promotion for the period 1994-1999 for 11 therapeutic markets, covering more than half of the total prescription drug market in the Netherlands. Identification of price effects is aided by the introduction of the Pharmaceutical Prices Act, which established that Dutch drugs prices became a weighted average of the prices in surrounding countries after June 1996. We conclude that GP drug price sensitivity is small, but adversely affected by promotion. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.1007
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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 15 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 5-18

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:15:y:2006:i:1:p:5-18
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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  1. Coscelli, Andrea, 2000. "The Importance of Doctors' and Patients' Preferences in the Prescription Decision," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(3), pages 349-69, September.
  2. Matraves, Catherine, 1999. "Market Structure, R&D and Advertising in the Pharmaceutical Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 169-94, June.
  3. Rizzo, John A, 1999. "Advertising and Competition in the Ethical Pharmaceutical Industry: The Case of Antihypertensive Drugs," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(1), pages 89-116, April.
  4. Stéphane Jacobzone, 2000. "Pharmaceutical Policies in OECD Countries: Reconciling Social and Industrial Goals," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 40, OECD Publishing.
  5. 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.
  6. Scherer, F.M., 2000. "The pharmaceutical industry," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 25, pages 1297-1336 Elsevier.
  7. 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.
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