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Regulation, generic competition and pharmaceutical prices: Theory and evidence from a natural experiment

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Abstract

We study the impact of regulatory regimes on generic competition and pharmaceutical pricing using a unique policy experiment in Norway, where reference pricing (RP) replaced price cap regulation in 2003 for a sub-sample of off-patent products. We exploit a detailed panel dataset at product level covering a wide set of off-patent drugs before and after the policy reform. Off-patent drugs not subject to reference pricing serve as our control group. We find that RP leads to lower relative prices, with the effect being driven by strong brand-name price reductions, and not increases in generic prices. We also find that RP increases generic competition, resulting in lower brand-name market shares. Finally, we show that RP has a strong negative effect on average prices at molecule level, suggesting significant cost-savings.

Suggested Citation

  • Kurt R. Brekke & Tor Helge Holmås & Odd Rune Straume, 2008. "Regulation, generic competition and pharmaceutical prices: Theory and evidence from a natural experiment," NIPE Working Papers 01/2008, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  • Handle: RePEc:nip:nipewp:01/2008
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    File URL: http://www3.eeg.uminho.pt/economia/nipe/docs/2008/NIPE_WP_1_2008.PDF
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    Cited by:

    1. Pierre Dubois; & Laura Lasio;, 2012. "The effects of price regulation of pharmaceutical industry margins: A structural estimation for anti-ulcer drugs in France," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 12/18, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    2. Brekke, Kurt Richard & Holmås, Tor Helge & Straume, Odd Rune, 2013. "Margins and market shares: Pharmacy incentives for generic substitution," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 116-131.
    3. Simanjuntak, Destrina Grace & Tjandrawinata, Raymond R., 2011. "A study on influencers of total sales revenue of generic pharmaceutical companies in Indonesia," MPRA Paper 31628, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Pierre Dubois & Olivier de Mouzon & Fiona Scott-Morton & Paul Seabright, 2015. "Market size and pharmaceutical innovation," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 46(4), pages 844-871, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pharmaceuticals; Regulation; Generic Competition.;

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L65 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology; Plastics

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