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R&D in the pharmaceutical industry: A world of small innovations

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Abstract

It is commonly argued that in recent years pharmaceutical companies have directed their R&D towards small improvements of existing compounds instead of more risky drastic innovations. In this paper we show that the proliferation of these small innovations is likely to be linked to the lack of market sensitivity of a part of the demand to changes in prices. Compared to their social contribution, small innovations are relatively more profitable than large ones because they are targeted to the smaller but more inelastic part of the demand. We also study the effect of regulatory instruments such as price ceilings, copayments and reference prices and extend the analysis to competition in research.

Suggested Citation

  • Beatriz Domínguez & Juan José Ganuza & Gerard Llobet, 2005. "R&D in the pharmaceutical industry: A world of small innovations," Economics Working Papers 936, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:936
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    Cited by:

    1. de Frutos, Maria-Angeles & Ornaghi, Carmine & Siotis, Georges, 2013. "Competition in the pharmaceutical industry: How do quality differences shape advertising strategies?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 268-285.
    2. Antonio Cabrales & Sergi Jiménez‐Martín, 2013. "The Determinants Of Pricing In Pharmaceuticals: Are Us Prices Really So High?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(11), pages 1377-1397, November.
    3. González, Paula & Macho-Stadler, Inés & Pérez-Castrillo, David, 2016. "Private versus social incentives for pharmaceutical innovation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 286-297.
    4. Antonio Cabrales & Sergi Jiménez-Martín, 2007. "The determinants of pricing in pharmaceuticals: Are U.S. prices really higher than those of Canada?," Economics Working Papers 1032, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    5. Chiara Fumagalli & Massimo Motta & Thomas Rønde, 2009. "Exclusive Dealing: The Interaction between Foreclosure and Investment Promotion," Working Papers 2009.120, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    6. Pedro Pita Barros & Xavier Martínez-Giralt, 2006. "On insurance and the cost-sharing of pharmaceutical R&D," Working Papers 293, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    7. Juan-José Ganuza & Gerard Llobet & Beatriz Domínguez, 2009. "R& D in the Pharmaceutical Industry: A World of Small Innovations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(4), pages 539-551, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health-care; pharmaceuticals; innovation;

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • 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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