Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Discussion Paper Series in Economics,
Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics

No 7/2013: Diffusion of Pharmaceuticals: Cross-Country Evidence of Anti-TNF drugs

Kurt R. Brekke (), Dag Morten Dalen () and Tor Helge Holmås ()
Additional contact information
Kurt R. Brekke: Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Postal: NHH , Department of Economics, Helleveien 30, N-5045 Bergen, Norway
Dag Morten Dalen: Department of Economics, Norwegian Business School,, Postal: Norwegian Business School, , Nydalsveien 37, , N-00484 Oslo, Norway
Tor Helge Holmås: UNI Rokkan Centre, Postal: UNI Rokkan Centre, , Nygårdsgaten 5, , N-5015 Bergen, , Norway

Abstract: This paper studies the diffusion of biopharmaceuticals across European countries, focusing on anti-TNF drugs, which are used to treat autoimmune diseases (e.g., rheumatism, psoriasis). We use detailed sales information on the three brands Remicade, Enbrel and Humira for nine European countries covering the period from the fi…rst launch in 2000 until becoming blockbusters in 2009. Descriptive statistics reveal largevariations across countries in per-capita consumption and price levels both overall and at brand level. We explore potential sources for the cross-country consumption differences by estimating several multivariate regression models. Our results show that large parts of the cross-country variation are explained by time-invariant country-speci…c factors (e.g., disease prevalence, demographics, health care system). We also fi…nd that differences in income (GDP per capita) and health spending (share of GDP) explain the cross-country variation in consumption, while relative price differences seem to have limited impact.

Keywords: Di¤usion; pharmaceuticals; cross-country analysis.

JEL-codes: I11; L13; O33

23 pages, March 28, 2013

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