This project aims to model the diffusion of new pharmaceutical drugs across countries, with a special attention to the European market. International diffusion research is of great interest for marketing managers who are concerned with how to launch new products successfully in a global environment.
In particular, we examine similarities and differences in new drugs first stage of diffusion, i.e. the takeoff phase (Golder and Tellis 1997), between the various EU Member States, but also in comparison to the non-Members (e.g. the US market). In addition, this project also aims at identifying the relevant factors influencing the diffusion of pharmaceutical drugs.
Particularly, we examine the effect of the national context, in terms of regulation (e.g. EU regulations for pharmaceutical drugs), national culture (Hofstede, 2003), economic conditions (e.g. GDP, economic development), and market structure (e.g. prescriptions versus Over-the-Counter (OTC) drugs). From a methodological viewpoint, we use a semi-parametric model with a mixed-effects representation (Durban et al., 2005). In contrast to the traditional and parametric approach (Bass, 1969), this methodology is very flexible, and can be used to design country-specific diffusion curves.
The latter characterize the typical diffusion process in a specific country, notwithstanding the product into consideration, and can be used as guidelines for any new products introduction. Country-specific curves are modelled as penalized splines (Ruppert, Wand and Carroll, 2003). This methodology is new in the marketing literature, and has the potential to provide new substantive insights regarding new drugs diffusion.
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