Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Pharmacoeconomics and Pharmaceutical Management, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran Non‑Communicable Disease Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Population Sciences Research Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Health and Management, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Department of Pharmacoeconomics and Pharmaceutical Management, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Faculty of Economics, Allameh‑Tabatabaiee University of Human Sciences, Tehran, Iran

5 Department of Pharmacoeconomics and Pharmaceutical Management, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran Food and Drug Organization, Iranian Ministry of Health, Tehran, Iran


Objective: Brand‑generic scheme was implemented in Iran to improve the competition 
in the pharmaceutical market. In this study, we aim to assess if this policy had any positive 
effect on efficiency of Iranian pharmaceutical companies.
Methods: We used data envelopment analysis to evaluate the relative efficiency of 
pharmaceutical companies during 1999-2008. The Wilcoxon matched‑pairs signed‑rank and 
sign tests were used to assess the difference between mean technical efficiency of companies 
before and after implementation of the new policy.
Findings: Although the Wilcoxon matched‑pairs signed‑rank tests did not show any 
significant differences in favor of the new policy in terms of both relative and pure (managerial) 
technical efficiency for included companies (P = 0.079 and 0.07, respectively), but the 
one‑sided sign test indicated that only relative pure (managerial) efficiency has been improved 
after this policy (P = 0.031).
Conclusion: The “brand‑generic scheme” does not seem to be a successful policy to 
improve efficiency level and prompt competition in pharmaceutical companies in Iran. To 
achieve this aim, consideration of infrastructural requirements including transparent and 
non‑discriminating laws and regulations to support competition, the competitive pricing 
policies, the presence of international companies in the market, and full privatization of 
companies had to be also deeming by policy makers.


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