Essays on prices, volumes, and policies in generic drug markets in high- and middle-income countries

Olivier Wouters, Panos Kanavos, Alistair McGuire
and importance: Rising drug prices are putting pressure on health care budgets. Policymakers are assessing how they can save money through generic drugs. Objective: The aim of this Ph.D. was to explore issues relating to the prices and usage of generic medicines in high- and middle-income countries in five articles. This was done using quantitative and qualitative methods, including price and Herfindahl-Hirschman indexes, difference-in-differences regression analyses, semi-structured
more » ... interviews, and literature reviews. As a Ph.D. "thesis by papers", each of the five articles should be read as a stand-alone piece. However, the thesis presents an overarching narrative, outlined at the end of Chapter 1. Novelty and empirical contribution: My original contributions to knowledge are: (i) updated analyses of generic drug policies, prices, and usage rates in high-income countries, based on a large, representative sample of generic medicines from 2013 (Chapters 2 and 3); (ii) evidence on the impact of a pharmaceutical tendering system on medicines prices, demand, and competition over a 15-year period (Chapter 4); (iii) quantitative data on the impact of therapeutic tendering on drug spending and prices (Chapter 5); and (iv) qualitative data on how a country can move from a fragmented health-care system to a single-payer one, using tendering as the basis for a comprehensive drug-benefit plan (Chapter 6). Key findings: The prices and market shares of generics varied widely across Europe. For example, prices charged by manufacturers in Switzerland were, on average, more than 2.5 times those in Germany and more than 6 times those in the United Kingdom, based on the results of a commonly used price index. However, the results varied depending on the choice of index, base country, unit of volume, method of currency conversion, and therapeutic category. The results also differed depending on whether one looked at the prices charged by manufacturers or those charged by pharmacists. The proportion of pre [...]
doi:10.21953/lse.ppv5qzbr6y8s fatcat:w6xdgzkptzfxrhoohvbbcvyesm