Do combined, multi constituent products which contain more than one chemical, such as Levodopa + Carbidopa + Entacapone Tabs, suffer slower price decay after generic launch than normal single constituent products?
It would make sense to assume so as we have previously found that products such as liquids, devices , creams and ointments all decay more slowly than solid dose generic products.
We believe that this relates to manufacturing complexity, in that products which are more difficult to make, such as creams or combined products, attract fewer manufacturers. Therefore there is less competition for market share and as companies normally compete with price in the UK, less likelihood that they will seek to undercut each other.
In the graph below you can see that the fastest decaying products are the single constituent solid dose generics such as Mirtazapine Tabs 45mg 28. These are simpler to make and can attract lots of companies to manufacture the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API Powder). However the more complex a product is, the less likely it will be to attract competing manufacturers.
An example of a two constituent product is Dorzolamide + Timolol Eye Drops 2%/0.5% 5ml and an example of a three constituent product is Levodopa + Carbidopa + Entacapone Tabs 150mg/37.5mg/200mg 30.
From the graph it does look as if the sellers of the combined 3 Constituent Product expected prices to fall in the first couple of months after launch, and so did some early stage discounting. However, when this failed to materialise they increased prices. Thereafter prices rose above their starting point.
This therefore suggests that two constituent product s are more complex to make, but that three constituent products are far more complex as prices rise in the longer term, suggesting that very few manufacturers can do this complex production work.