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Production of a New Drug: A Sequential Investment ProcessUnder Uncertainty

  • Marcello Basili


  • Roberto Renò


  • Carlo Zappia


On the basis of a database of more than 80 thousand records on total retails and production costs of the pharmaceutical industry worldwide we consider four classes of drugs. We evaluate the expected profits of an investment in a new drug in the four classes of pharmaceutical products by considering the standard NPV evaluation. We compare these outcomes with the evaluation of the expected profits of the four new drugs obtained by the real option approach. Interestingly enough quite different outcomes are obtained. These results loom on the capacity of standard methods to give a reliable evaluation of real investment projects that are analogous to compound options

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Siena in its series Department of Economics University of Siena with number 453.

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Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usi:wpaper:453
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  1. Saman Majd & Robert S. Pindyck, 1985. "Time to Build, Option Value, and Investment Decisions," NBER Working Papers 1654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Pindyck, Robert S., 1993. "Investments of uncertain cost," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 53-76, August.
  3. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-54, May-June.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Gene M. Grossman & Carl Shapiro, 1985. "Optimal Dynamic R&D Programs," NBER Working Papers 1658, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Cox, John C. & Ross, Stephen A., 1976. "The valuation of options for alternative stochastic processes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1-2), pages 145-166.
  8. Brennan, Michael J & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1985. "Evaluating Natural Resource Investments," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(2), pages 135-57, April.
  9. McDonald, Robert & Siegel, Daniel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-27, November.
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