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Market Structure and Drug Innovation


  • Pammolli, Fabio
  • Riccaboni, Massimo


An explosion of knowledge and a growing array of tools and technologies have transformed modern drug R&D, while its cost has risen by a sizable amount. At the same time, the unchecked increase in health care and prescription drug spending has spawned cost containment policies that are restricting the demand for drugs in all major markets. This Perspective explores the interplay between technological advances and regulatory policies and their likely impact on the dynamics of the pharmaceutical industry. Advances in the life sciences have profoundly transformed the drug research and development (R&D) process. That transformation has come at a price, boosting the cost of developing a new molecular entity (NME) to $802 million by 2000. More expensive R&D, combined with an aging population and better diagnostic techniques, has swelled drug spending in the United States, which reached $141 billion in 2001. These increases have in turn induced a spate of cost containment measures that are affecting demand for pharmaceuticals in all major markets. This Perspective considers the impact of the interplay between technological advances and health care policy on the future dynamics of the pharmaceutical industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Pammolli, Fabio & Riccaboni, Massimo, 2004. "Market Structure and Drug Innovation," MPRA Paper 16212, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:16212

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Arora, Ashish & Gambardella, Alfonso & Pammolli, Fabio & Riccaboni, Massimo, 2000. "The Nature and the Extent of the Market for Technology in Biopharmaceuticals," MPRA Paper 15977, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Orsenigo, L. & Pammolli, F. & Riccaboni, Massimo, 2001. "Technological change and network dynamics: Lessons from the pharmaceutical industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 485-508, March.
    3. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua Linn, 2004. "Market Size in Innovation: Theory and Evidence from the Pharmaceutical Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 1049-1090.
    4. Gambardella, Alfonso & Orsenigo, Luigi & Pammolli, Fabio, 2000. "Global Competitiveness in Pharmaceuticals: A European Perspective," MPRA Paper 15965, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. DiMasi, Joseph A. & Hansen, Ronald W. & Grabowski, Henry G., 2003. "The price of innovation: new estimates of drug development costs," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 151-185, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jing-Yuan Chiou & Laura Magazzini & Fabio Pammolli & Massimo Riccaboni, 2016. "Learning from successes and failures in pharmaceutical R&D," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 271-290, May.

    More about this item


    Pharmaceutical Industry; R&D Productivity; Health Care Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • L65 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology; Plastics
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives


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