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Common Ownership in the U.S. Pharmaceutical Industry: A Network Analysis

Banal-Estanol, A., Newham, M. and Seldeslachts, J. (2021). Common Ownership in the U.S. Pharmaceutical Industry: A Network Analysis. Antitrust Bulletin, 66(1), pp. 68-99. doi: 10.1177/0003603X20985796


We investigate patterns in common ownership networks between firms that are active in the U.S. pharmaceutical industry for the period 2004–2014. Our main findings are that “brand firms”—that is, firms that have research and development capabilities and launch new drugs—exhibit relatively dense common ownership networks with each other that further increase significantly in density over time, whereas the network of “generic firms”—that is, firms that primarily specialize in developing and launching generic drugs—is much sparser and stays that way over the span of our sample. Finally, when considering the common ownership links between brands firms, on the one hand, and generic firms, on the other, we find that brand firms have become more connected to generic firms over time. We discuss the potential antitrust implications of these findings.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright © 2021, the authors.
Publisher Keywords: common ownership networks, pharmaceutical companies, competition, innovation
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Economics
Date available in CRO: 03 Aug 2021 08:24
Date deposited: 3 August 2021
Date of acceptance: 31 December 2020
Date of first online publication: 8 February 2021
Text - Accepted Version
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