IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Dynamic Competition in Pharmaceuticals: Patent Expiry, Generic Penetration, and Industry Structure


  • Magazzini, Laura
  • Pammolli, Fabio
  • Riccaboni, Massimo


This paper investigates patterns of industrial dynamics and competition in the pharmaceutical industry, with particular reference to the consequences of patent expiry in different countries. We focus on the competition at the level of single chemical entities, distinguishing between original brands and generic products. Quarterly data, spanning from July 1987 to December 1998, on sales of pharmaceutical products in four countries (USA, UK, Germany, and France) constitute the basis of our analysis. All the products containing major molecules whose patent expiration date lies between 1986 and 1996 are included in our sample. We show how diffusion of generics is linked to the characteristics of the market and investigate how price dynamics of original products are affected by generic competition. Our empirical investigation shows that the dynamics of drug prices and the competition by generic drugs vary significantly across countries. This heterogeneity notwithstanding, a clear distinction seems to emerge. On the one hand, systems that rely on market-based competition in pharmaceuticals promote a clear distinction between firms that act as innovators and firms that act as imitators after patent expiry. Here, original products enjoy premium prices and exclusivity profits under patent protection, and face fierce price competition after patent expiry. On the other hand, in systems that rely on administered prices, penetration by generic drugs tends to be rather limited. Its descriptive and preliminary nature notwithstanding, our analysis seems to have relevant implications at different levels of generality, especially for Europe.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:15968

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Andrew Ching, 2000. "Dynamic Equilibrium in the US Prescription Drug Market After Patent Expiration," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1242, Econometric Society.
    3. Yi, Sang-Seung, 1999. "Entry, licensing and research joint ventures," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 1-24, January.
    4. 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.
    5. Grabowski, Henry G & Vernon, John M, 1992. "Brand Loyalty, Entry, and Price Competition in Pharmaceuticals after the 1984 Drug Act," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 331-350, October.
    6. Ashiya, Masahiro, 2000. "Weak entrants are welcome," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 975-984, August.
    7. Blundell, Richard & Griffith, Rachel & Van Reenen, John, 1995. "Dynamic Count Data Models of Technological Innovation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 333-344, March.
    8. Fiona M. Scott Morton, 1997. "Entry Decisions in the Generic Pharmaceutical Industry," NBER Working Papers 6190, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Elias Mossialos, 1997. "Citizens' Views on Health Care Systems in the 15 Member States of The European Union," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(2), pages 109-116.
    10. Gambardella, Alfonso & Orsenigo, Luigi & Pammolli, Fabio, 2000. "Global Competitiveness in Pharmaceuticals: A European Perspective," MPRA Paper 15965, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    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. Fabio Pammolli & Laura Magazzini & Luigi Orsenigo, 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.
    13. Sanghoon Ahn, 2002. "Competition, Innovation and Productivity Growth: A Review of Theory and Evidence," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 317, OECD Publishing.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Laura Magazzini & Fabio Pammolli & Gianluca Papa & Nicola Carmine Salerno, 2005. "Generici vs. Branded: confronto internazionale su prodotti off-patent rimborsati dal SSN," Working Papers CERM 01-2005, Competitività, Regole, Mercati (CERM).
    2. Patricia M. Danzon & Michael F. Furukawa, 2011. "Cross-National Evidence on Generic Pharmaceuticals: Pharmacy vs. Physician-Driven Markets," NBER Working Papers 17226, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Akaleephan, Chutima & Wibulpolprasert, Suwit & Sakulbumrungsil, Rungpetch & Luangruangrong, Paithip & Jitraknathee, Anchalee & Aeksaengsri, Achara & Udomaksorn, Siripa & Tangcharoensathien, Viroj & Ta, 2009. "Extension of market exclusivity and its impact on the accessibility to essential medicines, and drug expense in Thailand: Analysis of the effect of TRIPs-Plus proposal," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 174-182, July.
    4. Joan Costa-i-Font & Alistair McGuire & Nebibe Varol, 2011. "Does Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Affect the Adoption of Generic Competition? Evidence from the OECD, 1999-2008," CESifo Working Paper Series 3441, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Costa-Font, Joan & McGuire, Alistair & Varol, Nebibe, 2014. "Price regulation and relative delays in generic drug adoption," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 1-9.
    6. Birg, Laura, 2013. "Pharmaceutical regulation and health policy objectives," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 183, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    7. Appelt, Silvia, 2010. "Authorized Generic Entry prior to Patent Expiry: Reassessing Incentives for Independent Generic Entry," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 357, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    8. Gonzalez, Jorge & Sismeiro, Catarina & Dutta, Shantanu & Stern, Philip, 2006. "Market Effects of Generic Entry: The Role of Physicians and of Non-Bioequivalent Competitors," MPRA Paper 3717, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised May 2007.
    9. Pieter Dylst & Steven Simoens, 2011. "Does the Market Share of Generic Medicines Influence the Price Level?," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 29(10), pages 875-882, October.
    10. Appelt, Silvia, 2010. "Authorized Generic Entry prior to Patent Expiry: Reassessing Incentives for Independent Generic Entry," Discussion Papers in Economics 11476, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    11. Iván Moreno-Torres & Jaume Puig-Junoy & Joan-Ramon Borrell, 2009. "Generic Entry into the Regulated Spanish Pharmaceutical Market," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 34(4), pages 373-388, June.
    12. Leopold, Christine & Mantel-Teeuwisse, Aukje Katja & Vogler, Sabine & de Joncheere, Kees & Laing, Richard Ogilvie & Leufkens, Hubert G.M., 2013. "Is Europe still heading to a common price level for on-patent medicines? An exploratory study among 15 Western European countries," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 112(3), pages 209-216.
    13. Magazzini Laura & Fabio Pammolli, 2013. "R&D, Within and Between Patent Competition in the Pharmaceutical Industry," Working Papers 3/2013, IMT Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca, revised Jul 2013.
    14. Crowe, Bronwyn & Lindner, Bob & Llewellyn, Rick, 2006. "The benefits and beneficiaries of “public” investment in herbicide use research and development," 2006 Conference (50th), February 8-10, 2006, Sydney, Australia 174476, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    15. Carl Blankart & Tom Stargardt & Jonas Schreyögg, 2011. "Availability of and Access to Orphan Drugs," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 63-82, January.
    16. repec:ags:aare05:139334 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Pharmaceuticals; Patent expiration; Off-patent competition;

    JEL classification:

    • L65 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology; Plastics
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • L52 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Industrial Policy; Sectoral Planning Methods
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:15968. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.