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Has the European Union Achieved a Single Pharmaceutical Market?

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Listed:
  • Aysegul Timur
  • Gabriel Picone
  • Jeffrey S. DeSimone

Abstract

This paper explores price differences in the European Union (EU) pharmaceutical market, the EU's fifth largest industry. With the aim of enhancing quality of life along with industry competitiveness and R&D capability, many EU directives have been adopted to achieve a single EU-wide pharmaceutical market. Using annual 1994-2003 data on prices of molecules that treat cardiovascular disease, we examine whether drug price dispersion has indeed decreased across five EU countries. Hedonic regressions show that over time, cross-country price differences between Germany and three of the four other EU sample countries, France, Italy and Spain, have declined, with relative prices in all three as well as the fourth country, UK, rising during the period. We interpret this as evidence that the EU has come closer to achieving a single pharmaceutical market in response to increasing European Commission coordination efforts.

Suggested Citation

  • Aysegul Timur & Gabriel Picone & Jeffrey S. DeSimone, 2010. "Has the European Union Achieved a Single Pharmaceutical Market?," NBER Working Papers 16261, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16261
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sara Ellison Fisher & Iain Cockburn & Zvi Griliches & Jerry Hausman, 1997. "Characteristics of Demand for Pharmaceutical Products: An Examination of Four Cephalosporins," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(3), pages 426-446, Autumn.
    2. Brekke, Kurt R. & Konigbauer, Ingrid & Straume, Odd Rune, 2007. "Reference pricing of pharmaceuticals," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 613-642, May.
    3. 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.
    4. Kravis, Irving B & Lipsey, Robert E, 1969. "International Price Comparisons by Regression Methods," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 10(2), pages 233-246, June.
    5. 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.
    6. Danzon, Patricia M. & Chao, Li-Wei, 2000. "Cross-national price differences for pharmaceuticals: how large, and why?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 159-195, 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. F. M. Scherer, 1993. "Pricing, Profits, and Technological Progress in the Pharmaceutical Industry," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 97-115, Summer.
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    Cited by:

    1. Birg, Laura, 2015. "Parallel trade and reimbursement regulation," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 253, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    2. 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

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets

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