NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Michael Furukawa

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Working Papers

July 2011Cross-National Evidence on Generic Pharmaceuticals: Pharmacy vs. Physician-Driven Markets
with Patricia M. Danzon: w17226
This paper examines the role of regulation and competition in generic markets. Generics offer large potential savings to payers and consumers of pharmaceuticals. Whether the potential savings are realized depends on the extent of generic entry and uptake and the level of generic prices. In the U.S., the regulatory, legal and incentive structures encourage prompt entry, aggressive price competition and patient switching to generics. Key features are that pharmacists are authorized and incentivized to switch patients to cheap generics. By contrast, in many other high and middle income countries, generics traditionally competed on brand rather than price because physicians rather than pharmacies are the decision-makers. Physician-driven generic markets tend to have higher generic prices and m...

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