Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Global Competitiveness in Pharmaceuticals: A European Perspective

Gambardella, Alfonso and Orsenigo, Luigi and Pammolli, Fabio (2000): Global Competitiveness in Pharmaceuticals: A European Perspective. Published in: DG Enterprise, European Commission (2001)

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Abstract

The report examines the competitive position of the European pharmaceutical companies and industries, and compares them with the pharmaceutical companies and industries in other parts of the world, particularly the US. Over the last two decades, the industry has experienced some important structural changes, mainly driven by technological and institutional shocks that have affected all the stages of its value chain. In turn, this has led to changes in firms' organisation and in market structure, within domestic markets, regionally, and globally. The main finding of the report is that the European industry has indeed been losing competitiveness as compared to the USA, although there are large differences and trends across European countries. As a whole, Europe is lagging behind in its ability to generate, organise, and sustain innovation processes that are increasingly expensive and organisationally complex. In fact, one conclusion of the report is that the relative position of the US as a locus of innovation in pharmaceuticals has increased over the past decade compared to Europe. All in all, the report claims that the competitiveness of the European pharmaceutical industry is negatively affected by the persistence of insufficient degrees of competition and institutional integration, still centred on domestic and fragmented health care and research systems. Four sets of variables have been found to be relevant as sources of competitiveness and growth in pharmaceuticals: 1) The size and the structure of the biomedical education and research systems; 2) Some basic institutions governing labor markets for skilled researchers and managers, as well as corporate governance and finance; 3) Intellectual property rights and patent law; 4) The institutional settings in the regulation of health care systems and, moreover, the nature and intensity of competition on the final market. The data analysed in this report come from OECD, Eurostat, the European Patent Office, IMS Health and PHID (PHarmaceutical Industry Database) at the University of Siena.

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