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Effects of the German reference drug program on ex-factory prices of prescription drugs: a panel data approach

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  • Boris Augurzky
  • Silja Göhlmann

    (RWI Essen, Essen, Germany)

  • Stefan Greß

    (University of Applied Sciences, Fulda, Germany)

  • Jürgen Wasem

    (University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany)

Abstract

This paper examines effects of the German social health insurance system's reference drug program (RDP) for prescription drugs on ex-factory prices. Moreover, we analyze whether manufacturers adapt prices of their products that are not subject to reference pricing as a consequence of changes in reference prices of their products that are subject to reference pricing. We use econometric panel data methods based on a large panel data set of nearly all German prescription drugs on a monthly basis between October 1994 and July 2005. They provide information on ex-factory prices, reference prices, manufacturers, type of prescription drug, and market entries and exits. Our results show that there is no full price adjustment: A 1%-change in reference prices leads to a 0.3%-change in market prices. Price adjustment, however, is fast - it mostly happens in the first month. Furthermore, the first introduction of a reference price reduces market prices of the affected products by approximately 7%. Finally, we observe a significant time effect that is positive in the market without reference prices and negative in the market with reference prices. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Boris Augurzky & Silja Göhlmann & Stefan Greß & Jürgen Wasem, 2009. "Effects of the German reference drug program on ex-factory prices of prescription drugs: a panel data approach," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(4), pages 421-436.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:18:y:2009:i:4:p:421-436
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.1376
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Danzon Patricia M. & Ketcham Jonathan D., 2004. "Reference Pricing of Pharmaceuticals for Medicare: Evidence from Germany, the Netherlands, and New Zealand," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-56, January.
    2. Nina Pavcnik, 2002. "Do Pharmaceutical Prices Respond to Potential Patient Out-of-Pocket Expenses?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(3), pages 469-487, Autumn.
    3. Puig-Junoy, Jaume, 2007. "The impact of generic reference pricing interventions in the statin market," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 14-29, November.
    4. Schneeweiss, Sebastian, 2007. "Reference drug programs: Effectiveness and policy implications," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 17-28, April.
    5. Zweifel, Peter & Crivelli, Luca, 1996. "Price Regulation of Drugs: Lessons from Germany," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 257-273, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Herr, A. & Suppliet, M., 2011. "Co-Payment Exemptions and Reference Prices: an Empirical Study of Pharmaceutical Prices in Germany," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 11/18, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    2. Hanna Koskinen & Elina Ahola & Leena Saastamoinen & Hennamari Mikkola & Jaana Martikainen, 2014. "The impact of reference pricing and extension of generic substitution on the daily cost of antipsychotic medication in Finland," Health Economics Review, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 1-10, December.
    3. Izabela Jelovac, 2015. "On the relationship between the negotiated prices of pharmaceuticals and the patients' co-payment," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(1), pages 481-493.
    4. Aysegul Timur & Gabriel Picone & Jeffrey DeSimone, 2011. "Has the European union achieved a single pharmaceutical market?," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 223-244, December.
    5. Michael Mueller & Alexander Frenzel, 2015. "Competitive pricing within pharmaceutical classes: evidence on “follow-on” drugs in Germany 1993–2008," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 16(1), pages 73-82, January.
    6. Herr, Annika, 2012. "Rationalisierung und Wettbewerb im Arzneimittelmarkt," DICE Ordnungspolitische Perspektiven 31, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    7. Simone Ghislandi & Patrizio Armeni & Claudio Jommi, 2013. "The impact of generic reference pricing in Italy, a decade on," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 14(6), pages 959-969, December.
    8. Matteo Galizzi & Simone Ghislandi & Marisa Miraldo, 2011. "Effects of Reference Pricing in Pharmaceutical Markets," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 17-33, January.
    9. Herr, Annika & Stühmeier, Torben & Wenzel, Tobias, 2014. "Reference pricing and cost-sharing: Theory and evidence on German off-patent drugs," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100556, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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