OECD Journal: Competition Law and Policy

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This journal draws on the best of the recent work done for and by the OECD Committee on Competition Law and Policy. Its articles provide insight into the thinking a competition law enforcers, and focus on the practical application of competition law and policy. Here’s what Robert Pitofsky, Chairman of the US Federal Trade Commission said about this new journal when it was launched: “Global competition is the wave of the future, and comparative analysis of the laws and practices of various members of the worldwide community of nations is a necessary corollary. This new OECD Journal of Competition Law and Policy, compiled from OECD Round Table discussions, summaries of recent developments, and articles on topics of special interest, will introduce regulators, practitioners, and scholars to different regulatory approaches around the world and will allow us to consider in a more informed way the strengths and weaknesses of our own systems.”

Now published as part of the OECD Journal package.

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Competition and Regulation Issues in the Pharmaceutical Industry

The pharmaceutical sector is a dynamic, research-intensive industry that is fundamentally influenced by a web of regulations designed to a) promote research and innovation in the design and production of drugs, b) protect consumers from potentially harmful effects of drugs, and c) to control public and private expenditure on drugs. These objectives are sometimes in conflict and may require a balancing of the interests of  producers and consumers. Since most consumers have some form of health insurance, their incentives to control their purchasers of pharmaceuticals or to purchase from the most efficient pharmacist are limited. Health insurers seek to control pharmaceutial expenditure through various policies such as co-payments, lists of approved drugs and maximum reimbursement levels for different drugs. If reimbursement levels for pharmacists are set at a national or regional level, incentives for entry by new pharmacists are excessive in certain locations, typically leading to restrictions on the establishment of new pharmacies. Wellthought out reform of this industry has the potential to reduce pharmaceutical expenditures while maintaining the quality of the drugs consumed.

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