The Single Market in Pharmaceuticals
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This paper examines the state of the single market in the European Union (EU) for pharmaceuticals. As with other products, the EU has adopted a number of institutions and policies to encourage integration and the free movement of goods. Over time, member states are more similar in the availability of pharmaceutical products, as well as in the patents that protect them. New pharmaceuticals are generally available sooner and in more EU members. However, there are large differences in the number and mix of products across member states. Because the pricing of pharmaceuticals remains a national competence, price variation also persists—though this may be desirable from a social welfare standpoint.
KeywordsEuropean Union Integration Intellectual property Parallel trade Pharmaceuticals Regulation
I thank the editors, Carmine Ornaghi, and two anonymous referees for useful comments and suggestions, as well as participants at the conference “Celebrating 25 Years of the EU Single Market” in April 2018. Access to the IMS MIDAS data that were used was provided through a third-party agreement with Pfizer. The views expressed are my own, and I am responsible for all errors.
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