Pharmaceutical Pricing Practices, Policies, and Outcomes


New types of drug-pricing practices are challenging policymakers in the U.S. and other countries. First, for routinely used, low-cost medicines, pharmaceutical manufacturers may negotiate confidential rebates with countries that have more effective negotiating power, leaving other countries to pay much higher list prices. Second, new specialty medicines for serious and rare diseases are being introduced at unprecedented prices that exceed conventional notions of value. Third, while new and expensive breakthrough drugs for relatively serious conditions may be cost-effective for many patients, they will have a major budget impact when used widely. Finally, and perhaps of greatest current public interest, the prices of many old, off-patent medicines have increased sharply in recent years because of company mergers and acquisitions of licenses. All of these phenomena have heightened policymakers’ interest in understanding what manufacturers are doing and what the impact on drug prices and use will be. This study will produce new evidence about international differences in drug prices and utilization. Researchers will conduct analyses of the use and relative cost of medicines in North America, Europe, and Australasia for a traditional basket of primary care drugs and for selected high-priced medicines for cancer and inflammatory diseases. For primary care drugs, the researchers will also compare relative use of on-patent and off-patent drugs and, within off-patent drug markets, relative use of generic versus brand-name drugs.

Grant Details

Grantee Organization:
University of British Columbia
Principal Investigator:
Steven Morgan, Ph.D., M.A.
Award Amount:
Approval Date:
April 12, 2016

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