The determinants of pricing in pharmaceuticals: are U.S. prices really so high? Articles uri icon

publication date

  • January 2013

start page

  • 1377

end page

  • 1397


  • 11


  • 22

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1057-9230

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1099-1050


  • This paper studies price determination in pharmaceutical markets using data for 25 countries, 6 years, and a comprehensive list of products from the MIDAS IMS database. A key finding is that the USA has prices that are not significantly higher than those of countries with similar income levels, especially those that are 'lightly regulated'. More importantly, price differences to the US levels increase for 'branded', world top selling, or innovative products, and decrease, regardless of the level of regulation for mature or widely diffused molecules. Because prices for top selling molecules may be easier to perceive and recollect and more important for companies, they may bias the public discussion about international price differences


  • pharmaceutical prices; regulation