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EU Enlargement, Parallel Trade and Price Competition in Pharmaceuticals. What's blame? Derogation or perception?


  • Granlund, David

    () (The Swedish Retail Institute and Umeå University)

  • Yesim Köksal, Miyase

    () (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)


Given the cost of trade and availability of pharmaceuticals, the driving force for parallel trade is the price difference between the source (exporting) and the destination (importing) country. An increase in the price difference or in the availability of pharmaceuticals for parallel trade should increase price competition in the destination country. Using 2003-2007 data from Sweden we investigated whether EU enlargement in 2004, when new countries with low pharmaceutical prices joined the EU, increased competition from parallel imports. Drugs facing competition from parallel imports are found to have on average 17% to 21% lower prices than they would have had if they had never faced such competition. But, contrary to expectation, EU enlargement is not found to have increased this effect, which might be explained by derogations and changes in consumer perceptions of parallel imports.

Suggested Citation

  • Granlund, David & Yesim Köksal, Miyase, 2011. "EU Enlargement, Parallel Trade and Price Competition in Pharmaceuticals. What's blame? Derogation or perception?," Working Papers in Economics 499, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0499

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Yongmin Chen & Keith Maskus, 2005. "Vertical Pricing and Parallel Imports," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 1-18.
    2. Keith E. Maskus & Yongmin Chen, 2004. "Vertical Price Control and Parallel Imports: Theory and Evidence," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(4), pages 551-570, September.
    3. Brekke, Kurt R. & Grasdal, Astrid L. & Holms, Tor Helge, 2009. "Regulation and pricing of pharmaceuticals: Reference pricing or price cap regulation?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 170-185, February.
    4. 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.
    5. Kyle Margaret, 2011. "Strategic Responses to Parallel Trade," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(2), pages 1-34, January.
    6. J. Lundkvist, 2002. "Pricing and reimbursement of drugs in Sweden," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 3(1), pages 66-70, March.
    7. Ganslandt, Mattias & Maskus, Keith E., 2004. "Parallel imports and the pricing of pharmaceutical products: evidence from the European Union," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 1035-1057, September.
    8. Izabela Jelovac & Catalina Bordoy, 2005. "Pricing and Welfare Implications of Parallel Imports in the Pharmaceutical Industry," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-21, January.
    9. Pecorino, Paul, 2002. "Should the US allow prescription drug reimports from Canada?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 699-708, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Laura Birg, 2015. "Externalities of National Pharmaceutical Policy when Markets are Integrated through Parallel Trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 558-574, August.

    More about this item


    EU enlargement; parallel trade; pharmaceuticals; price competition;

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L65 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology; Plastics


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