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Cross-National Evidence on Generic Pharmaceuticals: Pharmacy vs. Physician-Driven Markets

  • Patricia M. Danzon
  • Michael F. Furukawa

This paper examines the role of regulation and competition in generic markets. Generics offer large potential savings to payers and consumers of pharmaceuticals. Whether the potential savings are realized depends on the extent of generic entry and uptake and the level of generic prices. In the U.S., the regulatory, legal and incentive structures encourage prompt entry, aggressive price competition and patient switching to generics. Key features are that pharmacists are authorized and incentivized to switch patients to cheap generics. By contrast, in many other high and middle income countries, generics traditionally competed on brand rather than price because physicians rather than pharmacies are the decision-makers. Physician-driven generic markets tend to have higher generic prices and may have lower generic uptake, depending on regulations and incentives. Using IMS data to analyze generic markets in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, U.K., Italy, Spain, Japan, Australia, Mexico, Chile, Brazil over the period 1998-2009, we estimate a three-equation model for number of generic entrants, generic prices and generic volume shares. We find little effect of originator defense strategies, significant differences between unbranded and unbranded generics, variation across countries in volume response to prices. Policy changes adopted to stimulate generic uptake and reduce generic prices have been successful in some E.U. countries.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17226.

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Date of creation: Jul 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17226
Note: HC HE
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  1. Tom Stargardt, 2010. "The impact of reference pricing on switching behaviour and healthcare utilisation: the case of statins in Germany," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 267-277, June.
  2. Magazzini, Laura & Pammolli, Fabio & Riccaboni, Massimo, 2004. "Dynamic Competition in Pharmaceuticals: Patent Expiry, Generic Penetration, and Industry Structure," MPRA Paper 15968, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Tracy L. Regan, 2007. "Generic entry, price competition, and market segmentation in the prescription drug market," Working Papers 2010-7, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
  4. Patricia M. Danzon & Andrew W. Mulcahy & Adrian K. Towse, 2011. "Pharmaceutical Pricing in Emerging Markets: Effects of Income, Competition and Procurement," NBER Working Papers 17174, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Ernst R. Berndt & Murray L. Aitken, 2010. "Brand Loyalty, Generic Entry and Price Competition in Pharmaceuticals in the Quarter Century After the 1984 Waxman-Hatch Legislation," NBER Working Papers 16431, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  10. Hudson, John, 2000. "Generic take-up in the pharmaceutical market following patent expiry: A multi-country study," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 205-221, June.
  11. Aidan Hollis, 2003. "The Anti-Competitive Effects of Brand-Controlled "Pseudo- Generics" in the Canadian Pharmaceutical Market," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 29(1), pages 21-31, March.
  12. Henry G. Grabowski & Margaret Kyle, 2007. "Generic competition and market exclusivity periods in pharmaceuticals," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(4-5), pages 491-502.
  13. Jaume Puig-Junoy, 2010. "Impact of European Pharmaceutical Price Regulation on Generic Price Competition: A Review," PharmacoEconomics, Springer Healthcare | Adis, vol. 28(8), pages 649-663.
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  15. Iván Moreno-Torres & Jaume Puig-Junoy & Joan-Ramon Borrell, 2009. "Generic Entry into the Regulated Spanish Pharmaceutical Market," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 34(4), pages 373-388, June.
  16. Laura Magazzini & Luigi Orsenigo & Fabio Pammolli, 2002. "The intensity of competition after patent expiry in pharmaceuticals. A cross-country analysis," Revue d'Économie Industrielle, Programme National Persée, vol. 99(1), pages 107-131.
  17. Atanu Saha & Henry Grabowski & Howard Birnbaum & Paul Greenberg & Oded Bizan, 2006. "Generic Competition in the US Pharmaceutical Industry," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 15-38.
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  20. Fiona M. Scott Morton, 1999. "Entry Decisions in the Generic Pharmaceutical Industry," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm119, Yale School of Management.
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