Social Scientist. v 7, no. 80-81 (March-April 1979) p. 3.


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SAN JAY A LALL

Multinational Companies and Concentration:

The Case of the Pharmaceutical Industry

THIS PAPER discusses the structure and operations of the international pharmaceutical industry, devoting special attention to its socio-economic impact on less developed countries (LDGs). The subject being vast and complex1, we concentrate on three aspects which may be of most interest in the present context: (i) The extent and evolution of concentration in the industry at the international level, and in the two leading producers, the US and the UK, on which data are readily available; (ii) The indicators of market power in the drug industry, and determinants of such power; and (iii) The welfare effects of the existing form of drug delivery, especially in LDGs, from the broad economic and social viewpoint. These issues are discussed separately in what follows and some policy implications are drawn in the concluding section.

CONCENTRATION IN THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY

There are two forms of concentration which deserve mention: geographical and structural. The consideration of geographical concentration serves a descriptive purpose—to provide background information on the level and distribution of pharmaceutical production, consumption and innovation in different parts of the world. Structural concentration is of more analytical use. It provides an indication, albeit a crude and imperfect one, of the



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