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Brand-Brand Competition Has Not Cut Prices in Pharma Market

FRIDAY, Aug. 2, 2019 -- Brand-brand competition in the U.S. pharmaceutical market has not lowered drug list prices, according to a review published online July 30 in PLOS Medicine.

Ameet Sarpatwari, J.D., Ph.D., from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues conducted a systematic review of the literature to examine the interplay between new drug entry and intraclass drug prices. A qualitative synthesis was performed on data from each of 10 empirical investigations and recorded the primary objective, methodology, and results.

The researchers found that no studies showed that brand-brand competition reduces the list prices of existing drugs within a class. There was a suggestion that such competition may help restrain how new drug prices are set based on findings from two studies. Evidence was found in other studies that brand-brand competition was mediated by the relative quality of competing drugs and the extent to which they are marketed; associations were seen for safer or more effective new drugs and greater marketing with higher intraclass list prices.

"Our systematic review found no evidence that brand-brand competition lowers list prices in the U.S. market," the authors write. "While more research is needed to identify whether there are specific situations in which such competition may be impactful, structural reforms are ultimately needed to address the rising price of prescription drugs in the United States."

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Posted: August 2019

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