Within the EU Single Market for medicines, differences in drug prices, regulations, and transaction costs may create, under suitable conditions, arbitrage opportunities well before patent expiration, giving an incentive to the occurrence of parallel trade. When this is permitted, parallel traders may obtain a profit from buying drugs in a country where prices are lower, then re-selling them in a country where prices are higher. This phenomenon may cause inefficiencies from a global welfare perspective, and reduce the manufacturers’ incentive to invest in Research and Development (R & D). Given this framework, in this paper, we investigate the efficiency (expressed in terms of the price of anarchy) of the subgame-perfect Nash equilibria associated with five dynamic noncooperative game-theoretic models for the parallel trade of pharmaceuticals. We also compare such models with regard to the manufacturer’s incentive to invest in R & D. More specifically, first we find in closed form the optimal value of the global welfare of two countries, which is obtained by solving a suitable quadratic optimization problem modeling the decision-making process of a global planner. Then, we use such a result to evaluate and compare the prices of anarchy of five games modeling the interaction between a manufacturer in the first country and a potential parallel trader in the second country. The first three games refer, respectively, to the cases of no parallel trade threat, parallel trade threat, and parallel trade occurrence at equilibrium. Then, we investigate two modifications of the third game, in which its transfer payment from the potential parallel trader to the manufacturer is, respectively, removed/determined by Nash bargaining. For completeness, we also consider a decision-theoretic model of no parallel trade threat. For what concerns the incentive for the manufacturer to invest in R & D, the results of our numerical comparison show that the decision-theoretic model of no parallel trade threat is always the one with the highest incentive, whereas the two game-theoretic models of parallel trade threat/occurrence that do not include the transfer payment provide typically the lowest incentives. Moreover, the latter two models have the highest prices of anarchy (i.e., their equilibria have the lowest efficiencies). From a policy-making perspective, improvements are obtained if suitable countermeasures are taken to help the manufacturer recover from the costs of R & D, such as the inclusion of a transfer payment in the model.

A Comparison of Game-Theoretic Models for Parallel Trade

Pammolli, Fabio
2018

Abstract

Within the EU Single Market for medicines, differences in drug prices, regulations, and transaction costs may create, under suitable conditions, arbitrage opportunities well before patent expiration, giving an incentive to the occurrence of parallel trade. When this is permitted, parallel traders may obtain a profit from buying drugs in a country where prices are lower, then re-selling them in a country where prices are higher. This phenomenon may cause inefficiencies from a global welfare perspective, and reduce the manufacturers’ incentive to invest in Research and Development (R & D). Given this framework, in this paper, we investigate the efficiency (expressed in terms of the price of anarchy) of the subgame-perfect Nash equilibria associated with five dynamic noncooperative game-theoretic models for the parallel trade of pharmaceuticals. We also compare such models with regard to the manufacturer’s incentive to invest in R & D. More specifically, first we find in closed form the optimal value of the global welfare of two countries, which is obtained by solving a suitable quadratic optimization problem modeling the decision-making process of a global planner. Then, we use such a result to evaluate and compare the prices of anarchy of five games modeling the interaction between a manufacturer in the first country and a potential parallel trader in the second country. The first three games refer, respectively, to the cases of no parallel trade threat, parallel trade threat, and parallel trade occurrence at equilibrium. Then, we investigate two modifications of the third game, in which its transfer payment from the potential parallel trader to the manufacturer is, respectively, removed/determined by Nash bargaining. For completeness, we also consider a decision-theoretic model of no parallel trade threat. For what concerns the incentive for the manufacturer to invest in R & D, the results of our numerical comparison show that the decision-theoretic model of no parallel trade threat is always the one with the highest incentive, whereas the two game-theoretic models of parallel trade threat/occurrence that do not include the transfer payment provide typically the lowest incentives. Moreover, the latter two models have the highest prices of anarchy (i.e., their equilibria have the lowest efficiencies). From a policy-making perspective, improvements are obtained if suitable countermeasures are taken to help the manufacturer recover from the costs of R & D, such as the inclusion of a transfer payment in the model.
Economic applications of operations research; global welfare optimization; incentive to invest in research and development; noncooperative game theory; numerical comparison of efficiency; subgame-perfect Nash equilibrium; Computer Science (all); Business and International Management; Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1063506
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