The pharmaceutical industry is praised as a leader in high technology innovation and the creator of products that increase both longevity and quality of life for people throughout the world, Yet the industry is also reviled for its marketing and pricing practices and even its research and development priorities. Its competitive nature is undergoing change today, with the entry of new firms and products increasing competition at the same time that mergers reduce it.
This book employs the tools of economic analysis to explore the conflicting priorities and aims of the pharmaceutical industry, from both a US and worldwide perspective. Schweitzer discusses the industry both as a manufacturer of products and as a major player in the making of health-care decisions. The author also analyzes the reasons and results of the shift in the locus of demand for pharmaceuticals. Presently the most important factor in formulating the future direction of pharmaceutical research are the demands of the large managed-care organizations rather than individual physicians. HMOs make decisions about product access on behalf of hundreds of thousands of patients. Recent changes in the regulatory environment--including patent law and FDA approval policies--have also influenced the pharmaceutical sector and are therefore investigated in detail.
Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy provides an insightful and expert analysis of this complex sector, and suggests appropriate regulatory approaches to assure that both private and public objectives continue to be served. It provides the first comprehensive look at the economics of the pharmaceutical industry in over 25 years. Readable and balanced, it will serve as an authoritative reference source for students and researchers in health services, health administration, health economics and policy, as well as for policy analysts and economists in industry, managed care organizations, and hospitals.