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Selected research from leading health care experts whose findings have a direct bearing on public policies effecting medical progress. Research is chosen based on its quality and relevance by the Medical Progress Today editorial staff.

Selected Research

European Pharmaceutical Price Regulation, Firm Profitability, and R&D Spending
John Vernon, Joseph H. Golec, National Bureau of Economic Research Digest, 11-17-06

Golec and Vernon analyze European price controls on pharmaceuticals in an attempt to capture some of the less apparent effects of price regulations. They conclude that, while European consumers obviously benefit from lower prices, there are significant indirect costs.

EU countries closely regulate pharmaceutical prices whereas the U.S. does not. This paper shows how price constraints affect the profitability, stock returns, and R&D spending of EU and U.S. firms. Compared to EU firms, U.S. firms are more profitable, earn higher stock returns, and spend more on research and development (R&D). Some differences have increased over time. In 1986, EU pharmaceutical R&D exceeded U.S. R&D by about 24 percent, but by 2004, EU R&D trailed U.S. R&D by about 15 percent. During these 19 years, U.S. R&D spending grew at a real annual compound rate of 8.8 percent, while EU R&D spending grew at a real 5.4 percent rate. Results show that EU consumers enjoyed much lower pharmaceutical price inflation, however, at a cost of 46 fewer new medicines introduced by EU firms and 1680 fewer EU research jobs.


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