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Keywords:

  • price-cap regulation;
  • uncertainty;
  • price evolution;
  • pricing strategies;
  • new pharmaceuticals

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of the regulations restricting price increases on the evolution of pharmaceutical prices. A novel theoretical model shows that this policy leads firms to price new drugs with uncertain demand above the expected value initially. Price decreases after drug launch are more likely, the higher the uncertainty. We empirically test the model's predictions using data from the Canadian pharmaceutical market. The level of uncertainty is shown to play a crucial role in drug pricing strategies. © 2014 The Authors. Health Economics Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.