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Pharmaceutical Stock Price Reactions to Price Constraint Threats and Firm-Level R&D Spending

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  • Joseph Golec
  • Shantaram Hegde
  • John A. Vernon

Abstract

Political pressure in the United States is again building to constrain pharmaceutical prices either directly or through legalized reimportation of lower-priced pharmaceuticals from foreign countries. This study uses the Clinton Administration's Health Security Act (HSA) of 1993 as a natural experiment to show how threats of price constraints affect firm-level R&D spending. We link events surrounding the HSA to pharmaceutical company stock price changes and then examine the cross-sectional relation between the stock price changes and subsequent unexpected R&D spending changes. Results show that the HSA had significant negative effects on firm stock prices and R&D spending. Conservatively, the HSA reduced R&D spending by $1.6 billion, even though it never became law. If the HSA had passed, and had many small firms not raised capital just prior to the HSA, the R&D effects could have been much larger.

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph Golec & Shantaram Hegde & John A. Vernon, 2005. "Pharmaceutical Stock Price Reactions to Price Constraint Threats and Firm-Level R&D Spending," NBER Working Papers 11229, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11229
    Note: HC HE PR
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Galai, Dan & Masulis, Ronald W., 1976. "The option pricing model and the risk factor of stock," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1-2), pages 53-81.
    2. Sara Fisher Ellison & Catherine Wolfram, 2001. "Pharmaceutical Prices and Political Activity," NBER Working Papers 8482, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Bronwyn Hall, 2004. "The financing of research and development," Chapters,in: Financial Systems, Corporate Investment in Innovation, and Venture Capital, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Ellison, Sara Fisher & Mullin, Wallace P, 2001. "Gradual Incorporation of Information: Pharmaceutical Stocks and the Evolution of President Clinton's Health Care Reform," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 89-129, April.
    5. Lerner, Josh & Shane, Hilary & Tsai, Alexander, 2003. "Do equity financing cycles matter? evidence from biotechnology alliances," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 411-446, March.
    6. Art Durnev & Randall Morck & Bernard Yeung, 2004. "Value-Enhancing Capital Budgeting and Firm-specific Stock Return Variation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(1), pages 65-105, February.
    7. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-329, May.
    8. John A. Vernon, 2005. "Examining the link between price regulation and pharmaceutical R&D investment," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(1), pages 1-16.
    9. Ilan Guedj & David Scharfstein, 2004. "Organizational Scope and Investment: Evidence from the Drug Development Strategies and Performance of Biopharmaceutical Firms," NBER Working Papers 10933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Amy Finkelstein, 2004. "Static and Dynamic Effects of Health Policy: Evidence from the Vaccine Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 527-564.
    11. Abbott, Thomas III, 1995. "Price regulation in the pharmaceutical industry: Prescription or placebo?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 551-565, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ernst R. Berndt, 2007. "A primer on the economics of re-importation of prescription drugs," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(4-5), pages 415-435.
    2. Vernon, John A. & Golec, Joseph H. & Lutter, Randall & Nardinelli, Clark, 2009. "An exploratory study of FDA new drug review times, prescription drug user fee acts, and R&D spending," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 1260-1274, November.
    3. repec:wsi:ijimxx:v:11:y:2007:i:02:n:s1363919607001746 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • L65 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology; Plastics
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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