My dissertation is entitled Imperfect Competition in the Marketplace exemplified by the Pharmaceutical Industry. Now keep in mind that this dissertation commenced in 1976 and was completed within three years for the award of a PhD with a Major in Economics.
The dissertation was 212 pages, included 40 hand drawn charts and graphs well before the time of Excel. Everything was typed on an electric typewriter so the amount of back and forth typing corrections that took place was essential.
What is sad about my dissertation is that I never had it published. If I had millions would have been deposited into my bank account. Why?
Simple – my dissertation was the first to specifically research the cost differentials between brand name drugs and what were then called non brand name drugs as the word generic was not in regular use at that time.
It started very simply. I went to a local Bradlee’s department store and looked at a bottle of Bayer aspirin. The price of the brand name was 59 cents. Then I looked at a bottle of the non brand name Bradlee’s brand at 19 cents with the exact same ingredients and the same number of aspirin with the same milligrams.
My research discovered, back some 40 years ago, what is common place today….that the major cost differential between brand name and generic drugs is not caused by R&D but is marketing costs.
My research was directed at doctors who almost exclusively at that time prescribed only brand name drugs. It was absurd how many doctors told me that my non brand name drugs would actually kill their patients and that I should be locked away. Well guess who had the last laugh.
It’s funny…I knew I was on to something unique with my research but I guess I allowed life’s responsibilities to get in the way of pursuing a book deal from my dissertation.
Well, as Frank Sinatra always said…” That’s Life” !