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Weak IPR and Imitation in the South and International Exhaustion of Patent Rights in the North for Innovated Drugs: A Policy Game

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  • Rajat Acharyya
  • Maria D.C. Garcia-Alonso

    ()

Abstract

We consider a policy game between a high-income country hosting a drug innovator and a low-income country hosting a drug imitator. The low-income country chooses whether to enforce an International Patent Regime (strict IPR) or not (weak IPR) and the high-income country chooses whether to allow parallel imports (PI) of on-patent drugs or market based discrimination (MBD). We show that, for a moderately high imitation cost, both (Strict IPR, Parallel Imports) and (Weak IPR, MBD) emerge as the Subgame Perfect Nash Equilibrium (SPNE) policy choices. For relatively smaller imitation costs, (Weak IPR, MBD) is the unique SPNE policy choice. The welfare properties reveal that although innovation may be higher at the (Strict IPR, PI), the market coverage and national welfare of the low-income country, and the total welfare are all lower. This opens up the efficiency issue of implementing TRIPS and at the same time allowing international exhaustion of patent rights.

Suggested Citation

  • Rajat Acharyya & Maria D.C. Garcia-Alonso, 2009. "Weak IPR and Imitation in the South and International Exhaustion of Patent Rights in the North for Innovated Drugs: A Policy Game," Studies in Economics 0919, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  • Handle: RePEc:ukc:ukcedp:0919
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Malueg, David A. & Schwartz, Marius, 1994. "Parallel imports, demand dispersion, and international price discrimination," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3-4), pages 167-195, November.
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    5. Eugen Kováč & Krešimir Žigić, 2014. "International Competition in Vertically Differentiated Markets with Innovation and Imitation: Trade Policy Versus Free Trade," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 81(323), pages 491-521, July.
    6. Richardson, Martin, 2002. "An elementary proposition concerning parallel imports," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 233-245, January.
    7. Lall, Sanjaya, 2003. "Indicators of the relative importance of IPRs in developing countries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1657-1680, October.
    8. Shabtai Donnenfeld & Shlomo Weber, 1995. "Limit Qualities and Entry Deterrence," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(1), pages 113-130, Spring.
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    11. repec:wsi:serxxx:v:53:y:2008:i:01:n:s0217590808002847 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Patent protection; TRIPS; innovation; imitation; Parallel Imports; Pharmaceuticals;

    JEL classification:

    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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