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Market Size and Pharmaceutical Innovation

  • Dubois, Pierre
  • de Mouzon, Olivier
  • Scott Morton, Fiona
  • Seabright, Paul

This paper quantifies the relationship between market size and innovation in the pharmaceutical industry using improved, and newer, methods and data. We find positive significant elasticities of innovation to expected market size with a point estimate under our preferred specification of 0.23. This suggests that, on average, $2.5 billion is required in additional revenue to support the invention of one new chemical entity. This magnitude is plausible given recent accounting estimates of the cost of innovation of 800 million to one billion per drug, and marginal costs of manufacture and distribution near 50%. An elasticity below 1 is also a plausible implication of the hypothesis that innovation in pharmaceuticals is becoming more difficult over time, as costs of regulatory approval rise and as the industry runs out of "low-hanging fruit".

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Paper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 11-232.

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Date of creation: Apr 2011
Date of revision: Mar 2014
Publication status: Published in The RAND Journal of Economics, 2015.
Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:24353
Contact details of provider: Phone: (+33) 5 61 12 86 23
Web page: http://www.tse-fr.eu/

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  1. DiMasi, Joseph A. & Hansen, Ronald W. & Grabowski, Henry G. & Lasagna, Louis, 1991. "Cost of innovation in the pharmaceutical industry," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 107-142, July.
  2. Blume-Kohout, Margaret E. & Sood, Neeraj, 2013. "Market size and innovation: Effects of Medicare Part D on pharmaceutical research and development," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 327-336.
  3. Arthur Lewbel & Oliver Linton, 2002. "Nonparametric Censored and Truncated Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 765-779, March.
  4. Mark Duggan & Fiona Scott Morton, 2008. "The Effect of Medicare Part D on Pharmaceutical Prices and Utilization," NBER Working Papers 13917, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Shubham Chaudhuri & Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Panle Jia, 2003. "Estimating the Effects of Global Patent Protection in Pharmaceuticals: A Case Study of Quinolones in India," NBER Working Papers 10159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Brekke, Kurt R. & Grasdal, Astrid L. & Holmås, Tor Helge, 2006. "Regulation and Pricing of Pharmaceuticals: Reference Pricing or Price Cap Regulation?," Working Papers in Economics 14/06, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  9. Berry, Steven & Waldfogel, Joel, 2005. "Product Quality and Market Size," Working Papers 1, Yale University, Department of Economics.
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