Accepted Paper:

Access driven networks for therapeutic goods production in Brazil  


Marilena Correa (State University of Rio de Janeiro)
Maurice Cassier (CNRS)
Koichi Kameda (French Institute of Research and Innovation in Society (IFRIS))

Paper short abstract:

This paper is based on research (Cassier & Corrêa 2003; 2014; Kameda, 2012) on the political economy of social-technical arrangements that boosted the local production and circulation of medicines and tests in Brazil, focusing on laboratorial work and technological development in the name of access

Paper long abstract:

Until the 1990s technology incorporation in Brazil followed the classical model of import substitution, as other countries in the South. The advent of new therapies against Aids challenged public health Policies to assure access to life saving drugs. Furthermore, the State faced strong pressure by civil society groups. This led to local production of complex medicines as ARVs within copying programs, conducted through informal networks with circulations of experts between Brazilian universities, companies and research institutes, which resulted in a remarkable technological learning in local level. Innovation benefited from copying in the public and private laboratories (Cassier&Corrêa, 2012). The 1996 IP law, which reinstated the pharmaceutical patenting in the country, had a strong impact on the ARVs copying, notably after the 2000s, leading the State and patient associations to make use of TRIPS flexibilities (compulsory licensing and patent opposition). Moreover, the previous experience of production through networks was, in part, responsible for the formation in the 2000s of technological consortia and public-private partnerships to locally develop and produce therapeutic goods addressing the public health system demands. This paper is based on 15 years research (Cassier&Corrêa, 2003; 2014; Kameda, 2012) analysing the political economy of social-technical arrangements that boosted the local production and circulation of devices (medicines and tests) following from the laboratorial work to the technological development of such tools until access in public health programs in Brazil. Our research is based on documentation analysis, fieldwork (case studies) and interviews with public policy makers, industrialists, researchers and activists

Panel T017
STS for pharmaceuticals and public health policy