32 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2010
Date Written: December 19, 2007
We study the impact of regulatory regimes on generic competition and pharmaceutical pricing using a unique policy experiment in Norway, where reference pricing (RP) replaced price cap regulation in 2003 for a sub-sample of off-patent products. We exploit a detailed panel dataset at product level covering a wide set of off-patent drugs before and after the policy reform. Off-patent drugs not subject to reference pricing serve as our control group. We find that RP leads to lower relative prices, with the effect being driven by strong brand-name price reductions, and not increases in generic prices. We also find that RP increases generic competition, resulting in lower brand-name market shares. Finally, we show that RP has a strong negative effect on average prices at molecule level, suggesting significant cost-savings.
Keywords: Pharmaceuticals, Regulation, Generic Competition
JEL Classification: I11, L65
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Brekke, Kurt Richard and Holmas, Tor Helge and Straume, Odd Rune, Regulation, Generic Competition and Pharmaceutical Prices: Theory and Evidence from a Natural Experiment (December 19, 2007). NHH Dept. of Economics Discussion Paper No. 39/2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1550785 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1550785