The Welfare Impact of Parallel Imports: A Structural Approach Applied to the German Market for Oral Anti-Diabetics

34 Pages Posted: 7 May 2014

See all articles by Tomaso Duso

Tomaso Duso

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin); TU Berlin- Faculty of Economics and Management - Empirical Industrial Organization

Annika Herr

Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE), Heinrich-Heine-Universität; Ruhr Graduate School in Economics; CINCH

Moritz Suppliet

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC); Tilburg School of Economics and Management

Date Written: April 2014

Abstract

We investigate the welfare impact of parallel imports using a large panel data set containing monthly information on sales, ex-factory prices, and further product characteristics for all 700 anti-diabetic drugs sold in Germany between 2004 and 2010. We estimate a two-stage nested logit model of demand and, based on an oligopolistic model of multiproduct firms, we then recover the marginal costs and markups. We finally evaluate the effect of the parallel imports' policy by calculating a counter-factual scenario without parallel trade. According to our estimates, parallel imports reduce the prices for patented drugs by 11% and do not have a significant effect on prices for generic drugs. This amounts to an increase in the demand-side surplus by €19 million per year (or €130 million in total) which is relatively small compared to the average annual market size of around €227 million based on ex-factory prices. The variable profits for the manufacturers of original drugs from the German market are reduced by 18 million (or 37%) per year when parallel trade is allowed, yet only one third of this difference is appropriated by the importers.

Keywords: Parallel imports, pharmaceuticals, structural models, anti-diabetic drugs

JEL Classification: I11, I18, L13, L51

Suggested Citation

Duso, Tomaso and Herr, Annika and Suppliet, Moritz, The Welfare Impact of Parallel Imports: A Structural Approach Applied to the German Market for Oral Anti-Diabetics (April 2014). DIW Berlin Discussion Paper No. 1373. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2432992 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2432992

Tomaso Duso (Contact Author)

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

TU Berlin- Faculty of Economics and Management - Empirical Industrial Organization ( email )

Berlin, 10585
Germany

Annika Herr

Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE), Heinrich-Heine-Universität ( email )

Universitaetsstrasse 1
Düsseldorf, 40225
Germany

Ruhr Graduate School in Economics

Germany

CINCH ( email )

Universitätsstraße 2
Essen, 45141
Germany

Moritz Suppliet

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) ( email )

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Tilburg School of Economics and Management ( email )

PO Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE Ti
Netherlands

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