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A Probability Approach to Pharmaceutical Demand and Price Setting: Does the Identity of the Third-Party Payer Mattersfor Prescribing Doctors?

  • Dag Morten Dalen
  • Marilena Locatelli
  • Enrico Sorisio
  • Steinar Strøm

TNF-alpha inhibitors represent one of the most important areas of biopharmaceuticals by sales, with three blockbusters accounting for 8 per cent of total pharmaceutical sale in Norway. Novelty of the paper is to examine, with the use of a unique natural policy experiment in Norway, to what extent the price responsiveness of prescription choices is affected when the identity of the third-party payer changes. The three dominating drugs in this market, Enbrel, Remicade, and Humira, are substitutes, but have had different and varying funding schemes - hospitals and the national insurance plan. A stochastic structural model for the three drugs, covering demand and price setting, is estimated in a joint maximum likelihood approach. We find that doctors are more responsive when the costs are covered by the hospitals compared to when costs are covered by national insurance.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3643.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3643
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  1. O'Brien, Bernie, 1989. "The effect of patient charges on the utilisation of prescription medicines," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 109-132, March.
  2. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
  3. Paul Contoyannis & Jeremiah Hurley & Paul Grootendorst & Sung-Hee Jeon & Robyn Tamblyn, 2005. "Estimating the price elasticity of expenditure for prescription drugs in the presence of non-linear price schedules: an illustration from Quebec, Canada," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(9), pages 909-923.
  4. Judith K. Hellerstein, 1998. "The Importance of the Physician in the Generic Versus Trade-Name Prescription Decision," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(1), pages 108-136, Spring.
  5. Lundin, Douglas, 2000. "Moral hazard in physician prescription behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 639-662, September.
  6. Ernst R. Berndt & Robert S. Pindyck & Pierre Azoulay, 2000. "Consumption Externalities and Diffusion in Pharmaceutical Markets: Antiulcer Drugs," NBER Working Papers 7772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Ellison, S & Cockburn, I & Griliches, A & Hausman, J, 1996. "Characteristics of Demand for Pharmaceutical Products : an Examination of four Cephalosporins," Working papers 96-24, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  8. Coscelli, Andrea & Shum, Matthew, 2004. "An empirical model of learning and patient spillovers in new drug entry," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 213-246, October.
  9. Leibowitz, Arleen & Manning, Willard G. & Newhouse, Joseph P., 1985. "The demand for prescription drugs as a function of cost-sharing," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 21(10), pages 1063-1069, January.
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