NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Has the European Union Achieved a Single Pharmaceutical Market?

Aysegul Timur, Gabriel Picone, Jeffrey S. DeSimone

NBER Working Paper No. 16261
Issued in August 2010
NBER Program(s):   HC   HE

This paper explores price differences in the European Union (EU) pharmaceutical market, the EU's fifth largest industry. With the aim of enhancing quality of life along with industry competitiveness and R&D capability, many EU directives have been adopted to achieve a single EU-wide pharmaceutical market. Using annual 1994-2003 data on prices of molecules that treat cardiovascular disease, we examine whether drug price dispersion has indeed decreased across five EU countries. Hedonic regressions show that over time, cross-country price differences between Germany and three of the four other EU sample countries, France, Italy and Spain, have declined, with relative prices in all three as well as the fourth country, UK, rising during the period. We interpret this as evidence that the EU has come closer to achieving a single pharmaceutical market in response to increasing European Commission coordination efforts.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w16261

Published: Aysegul Timur & Gabriel Picone & Jeffrey DeSimone, 2011. "Has the European union achieved a single pharmaceutical market?," International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 223-244, December. citation courtesy of

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