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Transforming pharmaceutical innovation 
Tineke Kleinhout-Vliek (University College Dublin)
Hadewych Honné (University of Edinburgh - KU Leuven)
Wouter Boon (Utrecht University)
Rob Hagendijk (Universiteit van Amsterdam)
Eva Hilberg (University of Sheffield)
Paul Martin (University of Sheffield)
Sarah Wadmann (The Danish Center for Social Science Research)
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Traditional Open Panel

Short Abstract:

The pharmaceutical system concurrently hosts many large-scale processes that may hold seeds for or barriers to transformational change. We seek to convene scholars working on different aspects of pharmaceutical innovation and public health across the world.

Long Abstract:

The pharmaceutical sector is undergoing a series of major transformations. These change processes include: first, the personalisation and orphanisation of medicines, targeting ever-smaller indications (Wadmann, 2023; Martin, 2023). Second, the industry's increasing financialisation, where shareholder value trumps other considerations (Bourgeron & Geiger, 2022). Third, the diversification of innovation actors collaborating to bring new products to patients (Douglas et al., 2022). Fourth, novel forms of governance and regulation, including digitalisation and decentralisation of clinical trials, alter modes of evidence generation while the push toward patient engagement remains high (de Graaff et al., 2021; Vayena et al., 2023). Finally, geo-political shifts, new forms of globalisation, and changing supply chains, with sovereignty and local production becoming increasingly important (Paremoer & Pollock, 2022).

This session seeks to bring together scholars working on these different dimensions of transformation within the pharmaceutical innovation system in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a systemic shock (cf. Geels & Schot, 2007), the pandemic demonstrated the strengths and limits of the existing innovation regime. While it accelerated the transformational processes outlined above, it also opened up new opportunities to harness lasting, positive change that addresses unmet needs and increases, rather than decreases, global solidarity (Geiger & Gross, 2023). These processes and their implications should be studied closely to start sketching the contours and direction of (transformational) change.

We invite abstracts on a broad range of topics related to pharmaceutical transformation and public health. In particular, we very much encourage contributions from early career researchers and scholars from low- and middle-income countries. The session is part of the international community that is the Global Pharmaceutical and Society Studies (GPSS) Network.

Accepted papers:

Session 1
Session 2
Session 3