NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Effects of Regulation on Drug Launch and Pricing in Interdependent Markets

Patricia M. Danzon, Andrew J. Epstein

NBER Working Paper No. 14041
Issued in May 2008
NBER Program(s):   HC   IO   LE

This study examines the effect of price regulation and competition on launch timing and pricing of new drugs. Our data cover launch experience in 15 countries for drugs in 12 therapeutic classes that experienced significant innovation over the decade 1992-2003. We use prices of established products as a measure of the direct effect of a country's own regulatory system, and find that launch timing and prices of innovative drugs are influenced by prices of established products. Thus, if price regulation reduces drug prices, it contributes to launch delay in the home country. New drug launch hazards and launch prices in low-price countries are also affected by referencing by other, high-price countries, especially within the EU, as expected if manufacturers delay launch in low-price markets to avoid undermining higher prices in other countries. Thus, referencing policies adopted in high-price countries can impose welfare loss on low-price countries. Prices of new drugs are influenced mainly by prices of other drugs within the same subclass; however, dynamic competition from new subclasses undermines new drug launch in older subclasses. Association with a local firm accelerates launch only in certain regulated markets. These findings have implications for US proposals to constrain pharmaceutical prices in the US through external referencing and drug importation.

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This paper was revised on December 5, 2011

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w14041

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