Business as usual? How the pharmaceutical industry protected its long-term interests during and after eurozone bailouts (2011–2020)

Diogo Teixeira Pereira, Catherine Moury, Pedro Pita Barros

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Abstract

In this article, we start from the assumption that the pharmaceutical industry accumulates material, instrumental, ideational and institutional power. Considering this, we expect that it would be very difficult for governments to reduce the rents of pharmaceutical companies in the long-term, even when the former are externally constrained to reduce their spending. We test our argument by carrying out a qualitative analysis of a paradigmatic case study, the Portuguese economic adjustment programme (2011–2014). We demonstrate that the conditionality associated with the international bailout was welcomed by Portuguese reformist ministers as an opportunity to decrease public pharmaceutical spending. However, the representatives of the industry took several initiatives to make sure that the decrease of its profits would be limited in scope and time. As a result, as soon as the bailout terminated, the industry was able to regain its rents.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2193622
JournalPolitical Research Exchange
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2023

Keywords

  • Eurozone crisis
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Lobby
  • Rents
  • State-industry agreements

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