Procurement Institutions and Essential Drug Supply in Low and Middle-Income Countries
62 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2021 Last revised: 30 May 2023
Date Written: May 30, 2023
International procurement institutions have played an important role in drug supply. This paper studies price, delivery, and procurement lead time of drug supply for major infectious diseases (antiretrovirals, antimalarials, antituberculosis, and antibiotics) in 106 developing countries from 2007-2017 across four procurement institution types. We find that pooled procurement institutions lower prices: pooling internationally is most effective for small buyers and more concentrated markets, and pooling within-country is most effective for large buyers and less concentrated markets. Pooling can reduce delays, but at the cost of longer anticipated procurement lead times. Finally, pooled procurement is more effective for older generation drugs, compared to intellectual property licensing institutions that focus on newer, patented drugs. We corroborate the findings using multiple identification strategies, including an instrumental variable strategy, the Altonji-Elder-Taber-Oster method, and reduced-form demand estimation. Our results suggest that the optimal mixture of procurement institutions depends on the trade-off between costs and urgency of need, with pooled international procurement institutions particularly valuable when countries can plan well ahead of time.
Keywords: global drug diffusion, procurement institutions, pooled procurement, IP and non-IP barriers
JEL Classification: I11, O19, H57
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation